Minutes after Boston’s overtime loss to the Blackhawks on Thursday night, Bruce Cassidy tried to pinpoint what exactly has held his club back over the past couple of weeks.
Sure, “held back” might be an odd way to phrase it. After all, Thursday’s defeat stood as Boston’s first loss since way back on Nov. 16 against the Capitals. Even with their win streak snapped at eight games, Boston had still managed to extend its stretch of points secured to 13 consecutive games off of its 4-3 OT final against Chicago.
But, considering the expectations and overall ceiling of Boston's roster, Cassidy didn’t have many positives to draw out of Thursday’s result — another matchup in which Boston needed to orchestrate a third-period rally to stave off its first regulation loss since Nov. 8.
“Complacency? I would say no,” Cassidy said Thursday of the factors ailing his club. “Lack of urgency some nights? I would say yes. We’re not pushing as hard as we need to to get to our level. Is that because of where we are, is that because of last year, is that because we feel like we’re a good enough team that we can flip a switch?
"Probably bits and pieces of all those things, I’m not going to deny it. Our job is to make sure we don’t get complacent. I don’t think we have been, to be honest with you. I think it would show in our record if we were. But, lack of urgency from period to period, absolutely.”
A lack of urgency is pretty much penciled in as a roadblock for every NHL club over the grueling stretch of an 82-game regular season. But so far this year, the many lulls that Boston has found itself in have yet to cost the team all that much, especially as far as points go.
A hefty portion of that has to do with the Bruins’ ability to ramp things up in crunch time, with a +20 goal differential in the third period allowing Boston to orchestrate last-minute rallies on a pretty consistent basis.
Well, at least against teams like Chicago and Minnesota.
Colorado was not going to be nearly as forgiving.