Ryan: No silver linings to draw from Bruins’ effort on Thursday

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

As painful as any subsequent review of the game film from Thursday night might be, Jake DeBrusk at least had one positive to fall back on.

After failing to light the lamp through his first nine games of the 2021 season, the levee finally broke for the hot-and-cold winger — with DeBrusk snapping a puck past Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood on the power play to secure tally No. 1 of the new campaign.

It was one of the few highlights from an otherwise bleak turn of events at TD Garden, with the baseline optics of a one-goal loss to the Devils not exactly painting the picture of what was largely a one-sided drubbing at the hands of New Jersey for most of Thursday night.

Even amid all of the frustrations that come with zeroes on the scoresheet, DeBrusk wasn't going to find solace in terms of finally breaking through on Thursday night. Not after a night like that.

It was nice to score," DeBrusk said. "Obviously would like to do it in a win. ... One of those tough games. I think that I was part of the compete factor. I was trying to get in on pucks, trying to get there — just felt like I was losing a lot of battles tonight. ... I don't think anyone feels good about their game after that game."

Indeed, for every net positive play the Bruins were able to muster on the ice Thursday, there were about five that dragged the club down in what was far and away the most disheartening performance of the season so far for Bruce Cassidy's squad.

Even DeBrusk was far from absolved, as he failed to tie up Pavel Zacha in the second period as the Devils forward pirouetted into the B's O-zone. Left unchecked over at the left circle, Zacha wristed home the eventual game-winning goal just seconds later, with Andreas Johnsson — unchallenged by John Moore down low — hitting him with a crisp cross-slot feed.

On second thought, perhaps combing over the game film isn't the best idea — given that very little went Boston's way. Aside from a competitive showing by Anders Bjork, Cassidy had little to wax poetic about following his team's second consecutive regulation loss.

As far as areas of improvement, what was it going to be?

Perhaps you could point to