Too many missed opportunities meant Tuukka Rask and the Bruins left TD Garden with only one point.

Claude Julien used a pedestrian but accurate word to describe his feelings toward the shootout. It also applied to his players’ performance in the regular-season comedy show that decides what 65 minutes of real hockey cannot.
The Bruins stink, to paraphrase their coach, in the shootout, which also stinks. They lost to the Flames in the clown contest on Thursday, 4-3. Their first six shooters shot blanks against Karri Ramo. Ryan Spooner and Torey Krug, their first two gunners, lost the puck off their blades.

The Flames who scored on Tuukka Rask were David Schlemko, a waivers claim, and Josh Jooris, an unsigned free agent. Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Jiri Hudler, the owners of Calgary’s softest hands, did not score. This is proof that the shootout has little to do with skill.
The Bruins fell to 2-7 in shootouts this season. They cannot wait to get to the playoffs, where the shootout does not exist.
Thursday’s game, however, emphasized that a postseason appearance is no guarantee. The Bruins remain just two points ahead of Florida, which also dropped a 4-3 decision in a shootout on Thursday.
The Bruins should have never gotten to the shootout. Calgary usually treats the first period as a throat-clearing exercise. Entering the night, the Flames had been outscored in the opening 20 minutes, 54-34. Thursday was no different.
The Bruins chewed up the ice in the Calgary zone. They snapped 31 pucks toward the Calgary net while limiting the Flames to 14 attempts. The Bruins dominated play. The Flames rarely controlled the puck.
But after 20 minutes, the game was tied, 1-1. The Bruins didn’t sink enough of their chances. Their best look was a Carl Soderberg point-blank attempt. Soderberg didn’t even put his shot on net. The center whipped the puck wide right.
“The challenge of our lack of finish is probably the biggest concern right now,” said Julien. “I think we had the better of the game tonight five on five. There’s no doubt we played a lot more in their end than we did in ours.”
For whatever reason, the Flames struggle early. They click into their game late. In the third period, they had outscored their opponents by …Read More