Heading into Thanksgiving week, the Bruins were riding high. Fresh off back-to-back 5-2 victories over Buffalo and Montreal, Boston sat atop the NHL standing at 13-1-2. However, since then the B’s have been fed a big helping of humble pie, dropping three of their last four games.

Boston started the week with a quick Florida road swing, which also happened to be the Dad’s Trip. Facing the Tampa for the first time this season, the B’s squandered a chance for both points when they had no business taking either. The Lightning outshot Boston 47-27, and if not for Jeremy Swayman it would have been a blowout.

They were handily outplayed yet held the lead with five seconds to play, when Steven Stamkos tied the game. Brandon Hagel ended the game in OT and Tampa walked way with the deserved two points. Moneypuck.com’s “Deserve To Win O’Meter” calculated that Boston would’ve lost 79.7% of the time.

After taking care of business with a clinical 3-1 win against Florida, Boston hosted Detroit on a Black Friday matinee. It was the third time the Bruins and Red Wings played in less than a month, and Detroit handily won the rubber match. The Wings cruised to a 5-2 win with a performance that would’ve won 61% of the time.

Less than 24 hours later, the Bruins took the ice in New York for another matinee and played their worst game of the season. The normally rock solid defense buckled again, conceding three first period goals en route to a 7-4 loss. It was another lopsided result for Boston on the scoresheet and analytically, with under a 40% chance to win.

While the Bruins weren’t expected to perform anywhere near last season’s pace like they have been, the stark drop in form is cause for concern. 

MoneyPuck shows that Boston’s Expected Goal Differential dropped from 8.99 to 4.75 over the span of the last week. JFreshHockey on Twitter shows a similar drop off from Bruins goaltending between November 19th and 26th.

It’s hard to argue with the Bruins performance overall so far this season, but this past week showed they do not have the impenetrable armor of last season’s team and still have work to do.

 

Photo: Bryan Woolston / AP

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