Simply put, regardless of the record, this team just isn't talented enough to get away with not working hard.
Many times during the Bruins' 9-0-1 November run, the rest of the lineup left the goalies to do the work. On Wednesday night, Tim Thomas didn't have a good game and the team had its first regulation loss of the month.
"When you're the top dog, teams are gunning for you," Bruins coach Claude Julien said Wednesday night. "They came out extremely hard."
The top dog. For the Bruins, the words have a nice ring. But these guys can't look back at what has happened with any kind of feeling of satisfaction. They must work. Heck, they're not even the top dogs in the Eastern Conference anymore, the Rangers going two points up Wednesday (even though Boston has three games in hand).
The Bruins have back-to-back home games Friday and Saturday, with the Islanders coming in for the annual day after Thanksgiving day game at noon and then the Stanley Cup-champion Red Wings coming to town. We'll see if the 60-minute work ethic is around for the two games.
SABRES 3, BRUINS 2: Too little, too late. "Things weren't clicking right off the bat," goalie Tim Thomas said after his and the team's first regulation loss of the month. "As things went on, we played with more urgency, just maybe a little too late."
Thomas was shaky on the second and third goals as Buffalo built a 3-1 lead and then had to hold the Bruins off.
"They showed more desperation than we did," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It was one of those tough nights. What we showed in the third, unfortunately we didn't get it (throughout)."
Matt Hunwick and Phil Kessel scored for the Bruins, who saw a four-game overall winning streak and a four-game road run come to a halt.