So after another brutal performance by the Bruins last night, I decided I will analyze some of Colorado’s goals and explain where the Bruins went wrong.
On Kerfoot’s goal here it starts off looking okay. Bjork seems lost on who to cover but his man is the one who makes the pass to Barrie at the point, and as you can see, McQuaid tries to cover up a passing lane to the front of the goal which he does a good job of but where this goal falls on him is after he watches the pass go to the defenseman. McQuaid needs to turn around and follow his guy to the front of the net. He doesn’t. He continues watching Barrie at the point which allows Kerfoot (McQuaid’s man) to find open space and get a clean tip in front.
This goal is tough to overly criticize, but I will point out where I think the issues came from. It starts off with a good box. Chara does a good job of forcing Landeskog to go behind the net and off to the other side, then Carlo follows up by cutting off Landeskog. Chara though after he released from forcing Landeskog to the other side of the net failed to get back to the slot and cover the wide open Avs player, and the next thing you know the puck winds up in the back of the Bruins net after a one-timer goal. If Chara hustles back to the slot, this goal never happens.
There is some good on this play but a lot of bad too. It starts off good as Miller forces Yakupov to the boards, then he has to try a little swim move to get back to the center of the ice. That works less than 20% of the time. Miller plays it perfectly keeping his stick on the ice and just taking the puck away. Then it turns to bad as Miller has the puck, and once he gets some pressure on him by a good Avalanche forecheck he coughs it up and Yankupov makes a heads up play finding the open Matt Duchene who snipes. There are multiple people at blame on this goal. I will start with Kevan Miller, who obviously needs to do a better job with puck control or getting rid of it to an area where some of your teammates are. Also at blame are the three forwards for looking pretty lazy if you ask me. Marchand does a good job of setting up for a breakout pass along the boards but the problem is Miller lost control of the puck before he started to set up along the boards. Once he watches Miller lose control of the puck he needs to make a decision to either give Miller help down low or find his man and lock up. He does neither. Next is Pastrnak who also was trying to set up for a breakout pass on the opposite side of the zone but he would’ve been better served to notice that his center (who should be helping Miller down low) is nowhere to be found until the tail-end of the play and he should’ve gone low to take care of the center duties and help Miller out, then have Spooner (the center) fill Pastrnak’s role as a winger on the breakout pass once the Bruins get control of the puck. Last to blame is Spooner who needs to find a way to get back into the defensive zone faster. His defensive responsibilities as a center are to support the defenseman below the face-off dots, which he doesn’t do, and that plays a big part on why this goal happens.
First things first, this pinch by Krug is something your coaches teach you in minor hockey of what not to do. When you see a rush coming up the ice and there isn’t a forward to cover for you, you have to back off and play it as a 2 on 2. Instead, Krug gets burnt missing the puck and the body (cardinal sin for a defenseman, when you pinch, you need to get at least one of the two) which leaves McQuaid in a bad spot but once McQuaid notices that DeBrusk is doing a good job on the back-check, he needs to shade towards the guy without the puck while keeping his stick in the front of his body blocking the passing lane. McQuaid does none of that as he commits his body more towards the guy with the puck and his stick is on the wrong side of his body which allows the puck carrier to make an easy pass across the ice with no threat of McQuaid picking the pass off. McQuaid can’t worry about the puck carrier. He needs to have faith in Rask to make that save. If Rask doesn’t make that save, it’s on him, not you. Your one job is to make sure that at the least you get a piece of the puck on the pass so it doesn’t result in an easy one-timer.