The Bruins had lost seven straight entering Sunday’s game in Chicago, scoring only 13 goals over those seven contests. They were without David Krejci, and Tuukka Rask hadn’t been able to take a full game off in weeks.
They dominated the Chicago Blackhawks for 60 minutes.
Johnny Oduya only skated one shift and left with an upper-body injury that will reportedly keep him out of the lineup for the next few games.
Corey Crawford allowed four goals against 14 shots before getting pulled a little more than 12 minutes into the second period. Antti Raanta replaced him, and allowed two more goals before the second period ended.
At that point, the Hawks were down 6-1, were down to five defensemen (including David Rundblad and Michal Rozsival), and appeared to be broken, clueless and lethargic.
Jonathan Toews scored a power play goal at the end of a first period that was completely owned by the Bruins for his 17th of the season. Bryan Bickell picked up his 11th of the season in the closing minutes of the third for the garbage-time stat of the month, and the rest of the lineup was flat and uninterested.
Before the game, in an effort to spark the team, coach Joel Quenneville threw his lines in a blender and put out a lineup that had even the strongest apologists shaking their heads.
Bickell replaced Brandon Saad with Toews and Marian Hossa, breaking up the only line that had been working for the Hawks in the last two weeks. Marcus Kruger got the bump up to the second line with Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg, and responded by losing 12 of 16 faceoffs.
Daniel Carcillo replaced Ben Smith in the lineup, and got to skate with Patrick Sharp and Brad Richards. He was credited with two hits and got into the obligatory fight in his nine shifts during the loss, while Sharp and Richards combined to put one (1!) shot on net.
Saad somehow lost the lottery on Sunday, getting sent to a line with Andrew Shaw and rookie Ryan Hartman. To his credit, Hartman once again played effectively in limited action, picking up two shots on net, one hit and one blocked shot in only 8:39 on the ice.
After the game, media availability was delayed but GM Stan Bowman did get a chance to address the players before the doors opened. Given the lack of production/success/motivation lately, it’s about time Bowman started doing something about the roster.