BOSTON -- After entertaining a sellout crowd at TD Garden on Thursday with three fights in the first four seconds of the game and six goals to follow, the Boston Bruins laid a stinker Saturday in getting shutout by the San Jose Sharks.
Scoring depth disappears – The Bruins scored nine goals in their first two games back from the All-Star break with the top lines of Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Mark Recchi on fire. But on Saturday, those two lines and the rest of the team were shut down by Antti Niemi (26 saves) and a suffocating defensive game by San Jose. This matchup showed why it is imperative for Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder to fine their games soon, or for general manager Peter Chiarelli to get not only that coveted puck-moving defenseman at the deadline but also some scoring depth up front. Ryder has now gone eight games without lighting the lamp, while Wheeler has gone 11.
Role reversal between the pipes – Throughout the season, Tuukka Rask has played well enough to win but his teammates have failed to support him at the other end. The past two games were a role reversal, as the Bruins scored six goals for Rask on Thursday and then couldn’t score even one goal Saturday for Tim Thomas, who was solid once again in stopping 16 of 17 shots.
Regrets on 2007 Draft for Bruins? Had to sting a bit for the Bruins to see Sharks rookie forward Logan Couture come into Saturday’s game leading all rookies with 22 goals and second in points with 33. To rub salt in the wound, Couture -- taken one pick after the Bruins selected Zach Hamill with the eighth pick overall in '07 -- scored a power-play goal 7:22 into the first period and was named player of the game. Meanwhile, Hamill was on the ice for only his second NHL game and, to this point, has not shown the promise he had when drafted. Hamill played 10:35 skating on a line with Wheeler and Ryder and had no points. He did, however, play a solid two-way game and showed hustle and willingness to go to the dirty areas at times.
Jumbo Joe returns to Boston for third time – Former Bruins captain and current San Jose captain Joe Thornton returned to Boston for just the third time since being traded away Nov. 30, 2005. His first trip back, on Jan. 10, 2006, was short-lived, as he was tossed 5:13 into the first period when he was called for checking Hal Gill from behind and given a major penalty and a game misconduct. In his second return, in 2009, Thornton scored a goal. Thornton was quiet Saturday with no points in 18:02 on the ice but got a nice reception from the crowd at TD Garden when introduced.
Tough week ahead – Thing won’t get easier for the Bruins in the upcoming week as, after four days off, they host their rival, the Montreal Canadiens, and then play a home-and-home with the powerful Detroit Red Wings next Friday and Sunday.