Brad Marchand gives brutally honest assessment of Bruins’ effort vs. Predators


BOSTON — The Boston Bruins had a chance to capture the Presidents’ Trophy on Tuesday night. Instead, they were nearly shut out on their home ice.

The Bruins were pretty much sleep-skating through the first two periods Tuesday night against the Predators. They hit the second intermission down 1-0 after Nashville’s Cody Glass broke up a scoreless tie when he put a loose puck that bounced off B’s defenseman Hampus Lindholm by Linus Ullmark with 1:49 to go in the second period. 

Boston showed a little more gusto in the third period when it was clear that the Hurricanes were going to lose to the Lightning, and all the B’s had to do was win to capture home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Bruins outshot the Predators, 16-4, in the game’s final frame and played with a lot more physicality than the first two periods. 

It still wasn’t enough against a Nashville team that was missing four of its top players, as Boston fell 2-1 to snap a seven-game win streak. Cole Smith was credited with a long empty netter for the Preds with 1:19 left in the game after Ullmark made his way to the bench to give Boston an extra skater. David Pastrnak scored the B’s only goal with 0.3 seconds on the clock, saving his team from just their second shutout of the season.

No one was particularly happy with their effort on Tuesday night, and Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron sounded off about it after the loss.

“We obviously took them lightly,” Marchand said of the Predators. “We seem to get up for the games against teams that we could potentially face down the road. I think we were a little disrespectful of the game tonight.”

“We didn’t play to our standard,” said captain Bergeron. “I think when you do that, that’s the result you’re going to get. It doesn’t matter how good you are. I think you have to respect how you want to play the game, and tonight was one of those nights where we kind of did it to ourselves.”

Bergeron pointed to the team’s execution — or lack thereof — while also giving the Predators credit for doing what they needed to do.  He and Marchand missed out on a golden opportunity to score a game-tying goal on a rush early in the third, and Boston’s power play units were once again ineffective, going 0-for-5.

Boston’s schedule has not been kind the last few weeks, with Tuesday night the 12th game the team has played over the last 19 days. They haven’t had more than one day off between games in three weeks, a stretch that included three weekend back-to-backs.

Sitting miles ahead of everyone else in the standings has given the B’s plenty of wiggle room to have games like Tuesday night. But that doesn’t mean the team is happy about it.

“We laid an egg tonight,” said head coach Jim Montgomery. “We’re going into our fifth week of four [games] in five [days]. You’re going to have peaks and valleys with your energy levels. We try to monitor it the best we can. But the schedule’s unforgiving right now, so we’re going to lay eggs every once in a while.”

The Bruins will get another chance to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy and notch their 58th win of the season on Thursday night when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden. They can also clinch the top seed if the Hurricanes lose to the Detroit Red Wings.

But after a very lackadaisical effort on Tuesday night, the Bruins would much rather take care of business on their own when they hit the ice against Columbus.


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