WILMINGTON — Ask any Bruin — or Head Coach Claude Julien — about the team’s inconsistency, and they’ll all point to a distinguishing factor.
“I think right now, it is mental,” Patrice Bergeron said following the team’s practice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday. “It’s details, and it comes down to mental mistakes and bearing down.”
The Bruins dropped a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night at TD Garden after having an early 2-0 lead, with a tie game after the second. They fell to 1-5-1 at home and 1-4-0 in their past five games.
“I think the work ethic’s in here and we just need to find that — I think it’s more of a little bit of a mental thing,” said Kevan Miller. “A mental hurdle we need to get over.”
“Well, it is mental. It is mental. No doubt about it,” reiterated Julien. “When you can’t sustain your game for that long, it’s always more mental than anything else.”
BOSTON — The Bruins have had no problem starting in games.
They struck in the first period for the 10th straight game on Thursday night at TD Garden, as they hosted the Colorado Avalanche to begin a season-high five-game homestand.
They jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:12 in when Zdeno Chara fired one in amid havoc around the crease. Ryan Spooner made it 2-0 at just 5:51 into the opening frame with the League’s top power play converting once again.
The problem wasn’t the start.
For the third time at home this season, the Bruins saw their two-goal lead evaporate. They allowed three unanswered goals from the Avalanche as they dropped a 3-2 loss.
“Well, it’s the same old, same old I guess,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said as he started his press conference following the loss. “You know, we’re off to a good start again and you’ve got a 2-0 lead and instead of continuing to play your game, you start seeing some long passes that end up in icings, you saw some turnovers at the blueline.”
BOSTON — Dennis Seidenberg could be making his season debut on Thursday night at TD Garden as the Bruins host the Colorado Avalanche (7:00 p.m. ET, NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
The defenseman will take warmups and is a game-time decision.
“There’s a good possibility he’ll play tonight,” Head Coach Claude Julien said following Thursday’s pregame skate.
Seidenberg missed all of training camp after undergoing preseason back surgery on Sept. 24. His last game came at the end of the 2014-15 season, on April 11.
Torey Krug is also expected to take warmups and be a game-time decision. The blueliner spent the past three days off the ice “dealing with something small,” as General Manager Don Sweeney told media on Wednesday.
“He looked OK but we’re kind of reserving the right to make a game-time decision there,” Julien said Thursday morning.
WILMINGTON — David Pastrnak was absent from practice on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena, as the Bruins returned to work following Monday’s off day.
He did not travel on the Bruins’ recent three game road trip, where they went 1-2-0, picking up a win on Sunday against the New York Islanders after losses to Washington and Montreal.
Pastrnak has not skated in more than a week. He had a bone contusion on his foot after taking a puck there on Oct. 27 when the Bruins played the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden.
“He’s still not ready to go obviously,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following Tuesday’s practice. “Again, I haven’t much from our training staff but to me, they told me he’s not available. So it doesn’t look good I guess as we speak, because of that.”
“I thought I was expecting him to maybe be back today, so we’ll see what comes out of that.”
BOSTON — The Bruins four game win streak was snapped on Tuesday night with a 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars at TD Garden.
Their home record fell to 1-4-1. They next head back out on the road, where they remain unbeaten at 5-0-0, with stops against the Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders.
They didn’t make the road ahead any easier.
“There was a lot of problems [Tuesday night],” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. “First period I didn’t mind, and second period and third period, I don’t know where our team went.”
“We just kind of lost our focus and we weren’t the same team again. Instead of trying to dig it in, I think the way they were playing us our guys were getting more and more frustrated and the more we got frustrated, the more we got away from our game.”
“It’s a lesson learned for our guys and with a tough road trip coming up, we just made it even harder.”
The Bruins had a 2-1 lead after the first period thanks to Colin Miller’s first NHL goal and a power-play goal from Loui Eriksson, but they wound up allowing the next four goals. Three of the four goals came on the power play.
BOSTON — The Bruins will be without a key leader moving forward for the 2015-16 season.
Chris Kelly sustained a left femur fracture just 1:40 into the first period against the Dallas Stars at TD Garden on Tuesday night and was transported to Mass General Hospital, as said in a statement from General Manager Don Sweeney.
Kelly is set to undergo surgery on Wednesday, Nov. 4 and is expected to miss between six and eight months.
The solemn news came during the third period, when the Bruins were down 5-2 to the Stars before ultimately falling 5-3. Their record at home dropped to 1-4-1 and the loss snapped a four-game win streak.
The loss of Kelly, though, will be felt far beyond the Bruins’ Tuesday defeat to Dallas.
“Well, you hope we can someone compensate for his loss, but I think people are going to realize how important he is to our hockey club,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following the game. “And not just on the ice, but also in the dressing room. Around the team, he’s a guy that’s extremely respected by his teammates, and on the ice, he’s given us everything we’ve asked for.”
BOSTON — Dennis Seidenberg remains on track in his recovery from back surgery.
The defenseman has skated in two practices and a pregame skate with his teammates, as he continues to recover the Sept. 24 surgery that repaired a lumbar spine disc herniation.
Last Thursday, Oct. 29, marked his first practice of the season with the Bruins.
After taking part in morning skate on Tuesday at TD Garden — as the B’s anticipate a matchup with the Dallas Stars — Seidenberg spoke with media for the first time since he began practicing.
“I’m on schedule, for sure,” said Seidenberg, whose original timetable was estimated at eight weeks, which would slate him for a possible return around mid-November. “Now it’s just — the next step would be taking physical contact in practice and seeing how that goes, and go from there.”
Feeling pain in his leg — and not necessarily his back — was the biggest byproduct of the herniated disc.
BOSTON — David Pastrnak is expected to be unavailable for Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Stars.
“We’re just giving David a little bit more time there — he’s still feeling that shot he got in the foot,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. “So we’re giving him a little bit more time to heal here. He’s not feeling 100 percent comfortable, so we’ve called up Koko to replace him.”
Pastrnak got hit with a shot towards the end of the Bruins’ game on Oct. 27 against the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden, and missed the second half of the third period. He stayed off the ice for one day, but was back in action for the Bruins’ back-to-back against Florida and Tampa Bay and for practice on Monday.
TAMPA — Just as Colorado, Arizona and New York were good to the Bruins, so was Florida.
The Bruins capped off their first back-to-back of the season with 3-1 wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and the Florida Panthers on Friday.
They are now 6-0-1 in their past seven games, including a 5-0-0 record on the road to stay undefeated in opponents’ buildings.
“I really feel good about this win for different reasons,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said from Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday night. “ It was our first test of back-to-backs, against a team that was waiting for us here and a team that’s a good hockey club.”
“We just seemed to keep getting better all the time and I thought our forecheck, our determination, our battles, and everything seemed to be there,” Julien said. “The decision-making was really good, putting pucks in and not turning those pucks over that much, got great goaltending again, so I thought it was a really good effort.”
With the game knotted at 1-1 entering the third period, Brett Connolly broke the tie with a power play fire to give Boston a 2-1 lead. It marked his fourth goal of the season, with all of the goals coming in four of his past five games.
TAMPA — The Bruins are 5-0-1 in their past six games and are coming off a 3-1 win against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise on Friday night.
They are getting set to face the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Saturday night for the second leg of their first back-to-back of the season. Game time is 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
The last time the Bruins faced the Lightning on Oct. 12, the 6-3 loss capped off an 0-3 start.
Those three games saw them give up 16 goals and score seven. Since then, they have put up 29 goals and allowed 14, gaining more and more confidence at both ends of the ice. They have allowed just one goal in their past two games — with the 3-1 win in Florida and 6-0 shutout of Arizona at TD Garden, both featuring Tuukka Rask between the pipes.
The Bruins are playing with pace, working hard and looking like a team findings its groove.
What exactly caused the turnaround?