Even the best teams in the league lose the occasional game. The Boston Bruins are no exception with recent losses to the statistically inferior Carolina Panthers on January 14 and most recently the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 17.
But what do they have to worry about? At 29-13-1 they are one of the best teams in the NHL. It quickly becomes a concern when they have won just six of their last 10 games and the Ottawa Senators are just a point behind in the standings.
"Our compete level isn't there," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "We're no better and no worse than any other team when we don't compete. We become a very ordinary team, and that's what we are right now."
Julien, in the midst of what is going on with the Bruins said it best from a fan's perspective. While the Bruins are not awful at the moment, they are no better than any other team they face on the ice in recent games.
The Boston Bruins are the defending champions and should be playing at that caliber. Neither Tim Thomas nor Tuukka Rask is to blame for allowing more goals per game than the team can score. It isn't a lack of effort or aggression from the team. It is a combination of little things and the fact that each team the Bruins face are bringing their "A" game. They know when they face the Bruins they need to be aggressive and in top form if they expect to even have a shot at winning. They face Boston hungry and lately the Bruins have been complacent.
Do the recent losses mean the Bruins will not win their division? I seriously doubt it. All it means is the Bruins must find their focus and start dominating teams again.
Ottawa is hot right now having gone 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Even the Toronto Maple Leafs at 10 points behind should still be in the back of their minds.
Granted, the Senators have played five more games than the Bruins to be just one point behind but that remains a cushion Boston cannot think about. Those games can be a loss as easily as they can be a win or OTL.
Regardless, I am sure most Boston fans can agree the boys are not playing their best right now, and I am sure they know it too.
More Boston Bruins Commentary from this Contributor:
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Associated Press - Moore scores tiebreaking goal in Lightning win
Paul Rados is an avid Boston Bruins fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados or leave him a message on Facebook. For a complete look at his freelance work please visit his Blog.