While I am not overly happy with some of the recent play, I'm not overly shocked by it. The team has no real depth at forward... if Crosby and Malkin get shut down, they will lose. Malkin being out further complicates this. The bottom 6 has largely been a dumpster fire all season and injuries are exacerbating the issue.
Most of the D is playing like dump and there is only so much that P-Mart can do. As much of a double edged sword as Letang can be, I do wish he was healthy as he could eat minutes that some of the other guys are being forced to play (and are playing badly).
Fleury hasn't been as consistent as of late, Zatkoff is a non-starter for me come playoff time, and I'm doubtful that Vokoun will be able to step in should MAF falter this season.
Once it became obvious that Boston was going to get the top seed, the team had little to nothing to play for... the division was a foregone conclusion. As such, it seems like if the team gets behind the eight ball early, they are basically "giving up" and taking the L rather than trying to fight through it.
I don't condone that as it makes for a miserable fan experience, but I can't say that I don't fully understand it. Many players have played a bunch of extra games due to the olympics, and others are probably just trying to avoid the injuries that have riddled the team all season.
Given that there is largely nothing to play for but pride otherwise, I can see how one might take it a bit easy.
All that said, it is disturbing to see the team playing this way as the playoffs approach. It's hard to imagine them flicking the figurative switch at this point.
If they are relatively healthy come playoff time and the matchups fall the right way, they could surprise us. There is also a chance that all of their weaknesses will be exposed and they will be golfing in short order. One more week and that will all come into focus.