Providence Bruins Notebook: Two game losing streak marks difficult stretch for Bruins

Bruins player Paul Carey lines up against a Utica Comets player during a faceoff, April 16.

By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

MARLBOROUGH – An ongoing skid for the Providence Bruins continued last week with two losses to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Hartford Wolf Pack, respectively. 

With their season spent playing home games at the New England Sports Center coming to a close over the next two weeks, the Bruins had lost three of their last four games as of April 28.

Head coach talks losing streak

Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach was frank following his team’s 3-1 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack on April 22.

“A two game losing streak is a two game losing streak.” he said. “It’s certainly not what we’re looking for.”

That fresh defeat immediately followed a 4-1 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers two days earlier. Two games before that, the Bruins dropped a blow-out 6-1 loss back in Hartford.

After roaring through the first eight weeks of this season shortened by COVID-19, the recent stumbles have been noticeable. 

These are, in fact, the first consecutive losses of 2021 for the team. Likewise, as they’ve allowed 15 goals in four games, the Bruins have scored just nine. Six of those in turn came in their win over the Utica Comets on April 16.

Speaking on April 22, Leach offered an explanation for the scoring dropoff.

Star Bruins forward Jakub Lauko watches play up-ice while tangles with a Utica Comets player, April 16.

“The goaltending has been pretty good that we’ve played for the past couple games,” he said. “But we haven’t put up a lot of shots either.”

The Bruins took 24 shots on April 20. They followed that with 22 shots on April 22. 

Those numbers mark a slight dip from the average of 29 shots per game that the team posted in its last three games of March, for example. 

“We’re looking for the cute plays,” Leach said of his offense. “…We’re going to have to get back to basics, putting pucks to the net and having our bodies either there or falling.”

Bruins player Paul Carey skates during warmups.

Carey scores, builds on hot streak

Bruins veteran Paul Carey reflected on years of youth hockey played at the New England Sports Center in an article published in the Athletic, last month.

Born in Weymouth, Carey did spend large chunks of time at what fellow Providence Bruin Matt Filipe described as the capital of Massachusetts hockey in an interview with the Community Advocate also last month.

Now playing on that same ice due to the unique circumstances of this COVID-19 hockey season, Carey had suddenly scored twice in three games April 16, 20 and 22. 

Bruins defenseman signs NHL deal

Brady Lyle had scored six goals and notched six assists for the Providence Bruins in 2021 as of April 28.

As a defenseman, the prolific performance throughout the season caught the attention of Bruins NHL executives earlier this month, who signed Lyle to an major league contract on April 19.

On April 20, the day after Lyle inked that agreement, Head Coach Jay Leach heaped praise on him. 

“His puck movement and his shot certainly stand out for us,” he said during a press conference. “…He’s been able to generate offense from the blue line and on the power play. Those are commodities in a defenseman that are certainly desired across the league.”

Our Providence Bruins notebook is an ongoing roundup of activity for the Providence Bruins hockey team as they play their 2021 season in Marlborough due to COVID-19. Check back weekly for updates.