Talking Points: Bruins not good enough vs Hurricanes after the first period

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Talking points from the Bruins' loss to the Hurricanes. . .

GOLD STAR: Sebastian Aho was the best player on the ice with a pair of goals and four points in 21:06 of ice time along with a plus-4 rating, and set the tone with his aggressive approach in a game where it seemed like many players were already thinking about Christmas. The peak example of this was Aho outmuscling Charlie McAvoy for a puck at the Bruins blue line, and then moved in to play a two-man game with Teuvo Teravainen until he finished the play past Tuukka Rask. Aho led all players with seven shots on net, 10 shot attempts and three takeaways while playing in Boston’s face all night long. Aho has really become a Bruins killer of sorts and that was the case again on Sunday night.

BLACK EYE: Charlie McAvoy had a horrible, awful, no good day against the Carolina Whalers. It started with a puck he attempted to glove in front of the net that ricocheted off him and then right on past Tuukka Rask. Then it led to him getting the puck taken away in the corner for a shorthanded goal, and then getting stripped by Sebastian Aho at the Bruins blue line for another B’s goal allowed. McAvoy finished with game-worst minus-4 in 21:28 of ice time along with zero shots on net, zero points and no real positive influence on the game. McAvoy was one of the players that looked like he had his mind on Christmas break rather than the game at hand.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins just completely laid an egg in the second period where they allowed four straight goals to the Carolina Whalers, and looked like they didn’t take their opponents seriously after building an early 2-0 lead. There were weak and soft plays on the puck, shorthanded goals allowed and a crumble job against Carolina’s best player where Sebastian Aho just took over the game and took it away from the B’s. The Bruins tried to scrape back into the game in the third period, but by then the game was long gone and hard to find. The Bruins really deserved the loss and they definitely got it.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Donato was the shining star for the Bruins scoring a couple of goals including a dirty power play goal where he flicked a puck in off D-man Trevor van Riemsdyk, and then a pure sniper goal in the second period where he stopped Carolina’s momentum at least temporarily. Donato now has four goals in 13 games since getting called back up from the Providence Bruins, and that would put him on close to a 25-goal pace for the season. Donato also finished with five shots on net and eight shot attempts and was among Boston’s most active players in a tough loss. Of course, he was also a minus-2 for the game despite scoring a pair of goals, but at least he was making something happen.  

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – the number of hits for Noel Acciari as he was definitely one of the B’s players that didn’t start focusing on Christmas break when there was still hockey to play.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s the lack of execution on basic plays. The ones we made tonight you just can’t overcome after a while, especially when you’re a little fatigued. I think that’s the frustrating part. It wasn’t our night. A few of our guys had a really tough time. You win as a team and lose as a team.” --Bruce Cassidy, on NESN after a tough 5-3 loss in Carolina where the B’s fell apart after the first period.   

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