The power-play for the Bruins has struggled to become a
consistent scoring threat in the NHL. Even though they managed to win the cup
in 2011 we all remember the B’s terrible power play throughout the playoffs. Over the past three seasons the Bruins have ranked an average of 19th
on the power play scoring on just 16.7% of their man-advantages.
They improved their numbers last year finishing 14th
overall and finding the back of the net 17.2% of the time. The Bruins have
plenty of guys that can put the puck in the net. They scored 260 goals last
season which was tied for second best in the league with the Flyers (Penguins
were first with 273).
I expect an improvement in the power play this year simply because
the Bruins players have improved. By now they should be very comfortable
playing together as a unit. Everyone’s a year older and a year more experienced.
Seguin is on the threshold of becoming a top NHL goal scorer and once he does
it will vastly improve the power play.
We’ve all read articles and seen brief practice highlights of what the PP might look like but realistically it’s probably going to change
week by week once the season starts. The bottom line is the Bruins need to keep
it simple. They need to set up guys like Seguin and Lucic in tight for scoring
chances and work the puck back to the point to Chara for blasts. I would like
to see Krejci back on the blue line with Z and Bergeron, Lucic, and
Seguin up front. I think 46 and 37 can get the puck to Lucic and Seguin and set
up Chara for one timers and back door looks.
In the NHL you must take advantage of power plays and
convert as much as possible. This was ultimately the demise of the Bruins last
year. Boston went 2 for 23 on the advantage against Washington last year in the
first round. Considering they lost 4 games by 1 goal and lost the series in 7
games realistically one more power play goal probably would have got them to the next round.
I would also like to add that I thought the Chara in front
of the net move was just plain awful. The guy has the hardest slap shot on the
planet and Claude’s got him twisted up in front of the net trying to handle
loose pucks with his 7 foot arms. Put
him on the point and leave him there unless he breaks to the net for a little
back-door action. His blistering slap shot is a necessity on the power play.