So it’s a legit question to wonder whether or not the Bruins’ past two games have meant anything more important. I might be biased (fine, I am, but screw it), but I’m gonna say it’s a slump.
First reason why: Tuukka is obviously better than the 86% goalie he’s shown over his past 5 games. That’s all the analysis I need here. That’s just the truth.
Second: What’s happened in the past two games won’t repeat itself. Although +/- is way overrated, it should be noted that the Krejci line gave up two goals without scoring any. That’s the kind of thing that is gonna happen every once in awhile, but rarely. I’m not worried. In the Anaheim game, the Bruins lost on special teams 4-0. Yeah, that’s definitely gonna stick.
Third: Eriksson makes a huge difference, and thank Bill Belichick (God) that he’s back tonight. Reilly was a great fill in on the second line, but that leaves the third line in a tough spot. Fraser has done ok, but his offensive zone starts are over 66%. Even though Soderberg’s is only 52% and Spooners is “only” 58%, it’s clear that Julien can’t trust the third line defensively. That will change with Reilly replacing Fraser, but especially with Kelly replacing Spooner. Basically, Eriksson’s absence affects the defense of two lines. Eriksson, Bergeron, and Marchand probably comprise the best defensive line in the league, and getting Fraser out of the lineup will help the third.
And again, there’s that thing about Tuukka being possibly the best goalie in the league. He’s a 93+% goalie, not a 85+% goalie.
Shawn Thornton is back, meaning that he, Loui, and Tuukka are all in the lineup tonight. Tuukka needs the night off in the next game, but, against a team like the Sharks, the Bruins want all their aces in the deck. Confidence wins are also clearly overrated, but this is probably as much of one as the B’s will have all season. That being said, if they do lose, it’s not time to write them off, because the regular season will never be anything close to a foolproof predictor of the postseason.