Bruins

Ryan: Well, it can’t get any worse for this Bruins offense, right?

(Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask tried to focus on the positives.

It was a measured and admirable take from the B's netminder, who was well within his rights to chuck around a few milk crates following Boston's matchup against the Islanders on Monday night.

After all, Rask's strong play in net wasn't complemented in the slightest down the other end of the ice, with Boston's lagging offense leaving little room for error for its goalie.

Actually, scratch that.

Boston's offense — or lack thereof — left no room for error for Rask, as Jean-Gabriel Pageau's battled goal in the third period created an insurmountable deficit for the B's, who were dealt their first regulation loss of the 2021 season by way of a 1-0 final. 

And yet, rather than harp on the fact that Boston has yet to tally a single goal outside of special-teams play — standing as a scoring slump of 51:54 of even-strength ice time — Rask offered a rosier take on what has been a frustrating start to a new campaign for the B's and their scoring woes.

"It's early in the season," Rask said. "I think we're playing really good. If we play that team defense throughout the year, I think we're gonna win a lot of games. I know the offense will come. So we just got to stick with it, not hang our heads. I think, like today, we could have scored one or two goals and win the game. But a tough bounce again and that's just how it goes sometimes."

Indeed, in a sport as fickle as hockey, all it takes is one skittering puck, tumbling biscuit or fortuitous bounce to snap a slump, lift the spirit of a player and change the complexion of a team.

And, all things considered, Rask is right in that there are some positives worth noting.

  • A young defense hasn't folded in terms of its sound zone structure, with green skaters like Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril holding their own in featured roles.
  • A fourth line routinely put on the ropes last season against top-six foes has tilted ice back in Boston's favor for most of their shifts in 2021 — with the addition of Trent Frederic paying immediate dividends.
  • A Bruins' penalty kill without its anchor in Zdeno Chara is now a perfect 13-for-13 on the year with a shorthanded tally to boot.

And if you need another silver lining, look no further than Boston's even-strength scoring output. Rejoice, Bruins fans — because it really can't get any worse than this, right?

... right?