Chara: "No Excuse"
B's get complacent after hot first period and fall to Caps, 4-3 in OT
WASHINGTON, D.C. - For 20 minutes Tuesday night at the Verizon Center, the B's had it all.
Brad Marchand drew a penalty on Alexander Ovechkin, leading to a shorthanded penalty shot and the forward's team-leading 12th goal. The Captain, Zdeno Chara, scored off his own rebound, Dougie Hamilton notched a power-play goal and Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves. The forecheck was in full effect and Boston Bruins hockey on display.
But the next 40 and change, was a different story.
"It's very tough. We had the game in the bag and we got complacent. It's a very tough loss," said Marchand, from the locker room, after the B's allowed four unanswered goals to drop the 4-3 decision to the Capitals in extra time.
"It really shouldn't have even gone into overtime. That's on us, we have to be better."
"We weren't playing our game," added Marchand, on the B's play after the first period. "We were sitting back and we were really giving them a lot of odd-man rushes."
"We weren't forehecking the way we were in the first. They got a lot of opportunities and they capitalized at the right time."
"When we give up three or four goals it definitely means we've got to fix some things," said Marchand. "It just seemed like we were out of position a little bit and we weren't pushing back as hard as we can. Again, we were giving them a little too much time and space."
A visibly upset Zdeno Chara also recounted the loss.
"We lost the game, no excuse. Not a good enough 60 minutes," said the Captain.
"When you look at our first 20 and our second 20, they were totally two different approaches. Not enough urgency in the second period. We let them back in the game."
"We can't be sitting too long on this game. But, at the same time, we can't be avoiding mistakes that we're making."
In the shortened schedule, the Black & Gold also have to have a short memory.
They have been so good at moving on from game to game, but this time around, the B's know they have to reflect on the past two games and what hasn't gone right for them defensively.
That time and space led to four unanswered goals, all at even strength (the B's went 4-for-4 on the PK), two coming in the second period, the tying goal past the midpoint of the third - and the backbreaker in overtime.
"There's a lot of things right now, and I think its' not a good time for that," Coach Julien said postgame, when asked if puck management was one of the issues that led to the loss. "We're playing a lot of games here lately, but defensively, we need to be a lot better. Certainly not as good as we're capable of and, again, that's an issue."
"We have a lot of guys that have to be better for us. Again, those things I think we all see. Offensively, like I said, you've got a three-on-one, you've got a two-on-one, you've got to be able to capitalize on at least one of those odd-man rushes. If you capitalize, it's a different hockey game."
Tuukka Rask broke it down simply, amidst a rightfully disappointed locker room.
"We were up by three goals, fell asleep in the second, and gave up a couple unnecessary goals," said Rask. "And then the third was another softie on me, and overtime we know what happened."
"Sometimes we're just puck watching too much in our own end and not recognizing those guys back door," added the netminder. "It's probably one of those things we need to take a look at."
"I think we have to look at the video, look at some bad things we did, some good things we did, and move on."
"I think both those last goals off the rush, two-on-twos," added defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who had an unfortunate bounce of the puck off his leg that put the puck right on Wolski's stick, and then was on the ice when the OT-winner went in.
"Other than that, I thought we had some pretty good D-zone coverage. We didn't give up too much, but I guess it's another game we can learn from. Just have to put it behind us."
His teammate Brad Marchand mirrored that approach, noting the B's have to correct the errors, take the bright spots (namely, the first period), and continue on in the busy month of March.
"With the schedule right now, we really got to put games behind us, win or lose," said Marchand. "We do have to take the negatives and the positives out of this game and we've got to learn from them."
"But we have to do that and move on."