The once great and perennial contending Boston Bruins are off to a devastating 0-3 start. While there are still 79 games left on the schedule, getting off to a 0-3 start on home ice is something that all fans should be worried about, because as any Boston fan knows; the TD Garden is notorious for being a hostile environment for opposing teams.
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The three teams the Bruins have lost to, Winnipeg, Montreal and Tampa Bay are all very strong teams and were in the playoffs last season. Tampa Bay went on to the Stanley Cup, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks. With these first three games, the Bruins face more challenges than even their record would suggest, and that is partially to blame.
Tuukka Rask and the Bruins defense were a top ten defensive team last year in the NHL. To put that into perspective, last year the Bruins allowed 2.45 goals per game, seventh best in the NHL. The strong goaltending and defense for this team has come to be expected year after year for this team based on previous performance.
Oct 8, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Irwin (52) and Winnipeg Jets right wing Chris Thorburn (22) battle in front of goalie Tuukka Rask (40) during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
However, this year has shown otherwise. The tough and gritty team that fans have grown accustomed to, now looks over-matched by the fast paced hockey style being the staple of this newly looking NHL game. Matt Irwin was brought in as an enforcer and a tough defensemen, but he has already been assigned to Providence.
With the losses suffered to this roster on defense this off season, the results on the ice have shown so far. Through three games the Bruins are allowing a league worst 5.33 goals per game. Things will probably shake out, and strong defense may very well become a fixture for this team again this season. However, as of right now this team should be very worried.
The Bruins offense does not look any better. The offense is tied for 17th in the NHL right now with 2 goals per game. The off season additions on offense have a combined two points through three games. Many fans were excited about incoming players Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes. Beleskey looks over-matched and does not look like the player who had his breakout season last year playing for a very strong Anaheim Ducks team.
Jimmy Hayes, the hometown kid, has zero points and does not look like the player he was expected to be either coming over from Florida for Reily Smith. Smith has three points through three games for the Florida Panthers, for whatever that’s worth.
The off season moves by GM Don Sweeney that I questioned previously have yet to change my opinion, and it will be interesting to see if this team and these acquisitions can change my perspective of them as the season goes on.
I may have been too confident towards this Bruins team in my recent takes. Right now, this team has the looks of a team worth of an early draft pick. Do not confuse this team with the 2011 Bruins. This team will not contend for a Stanley Cup. They just do not have the pieces in order to do so.
Losing three straight out of the gate to three very good teams backs up the point that the Bruins roster just cannot compete with the best teams in the league. A 0-3 start at home may be tolerable in other cities, but in Boston, that is far from acceptable.