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Bruins’ power play might be a weakness again

Apr 13, 2012, 8:00 AM EDT

Mike Green, Brad Marchand AP

The Boston Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup run was impressive and surprising for plenty of reasons, but the B’s ability to win it all with a downright pathetic power play was especially unusual. One game is just one game, yet it was tough not to wonder if Boston might need to overcome a miniscule man advantage again in the 2012 playoffs.

As you can see from the play-by-play, the Bruins received just about six consecutive minutes of power play time from the end of the first period and beginning of the second only to come up empty. Boston also failed to score a PP goal in a 4-on-3 situation, which can often be one of the most lucrative scoring chances in the sport because of the natural spacing nightmares that can occur with all that open ice.

Surely those middle frame-heavy power plays partially explain the fact that the Bruins took a 17-2 shot advantage in the second period, but it’s still disappointing that Boston went 0-for-4.

Of course, one could argue that Braden Holtby‘s great play and the Capitals’ shot blocking penalty kill played just a big a factor as any perceived ineptitude. That’s why it’s dangerous to weight one game too heavily.

The Bruins converted 43 out of 250 power play opportunities during the regulation season, with a 17.2 efficiency rate that ranked them smack-dab in the middle of league at 15th overall. Such numbers indicate that Boston’s man advantage probably won’t be a huge part of whatever success it has in the playoffs, but striking more often on huge opportunities like the ones they had last night would make things a lot easier.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    With a dismal PP they still won the Cup last year. They play good defensive hockey 5 v. 5. If the officials ‘let them play,’ the PP becomes less of a factor.

  2. bergeronforselke - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    As long as they keep it up on the PK like last year

  3. homelanddefense - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Last night the powerplay should have scored, cant argue that. But it didnt look anything like last years playoff powerplays. Last year they couldnt even get into the attacking zone, never got to run cycyles in the offensive end. It was so bad they were almost better off declining the penalties, lol.

    they generated a ton of pressure last night on those powerplays, they just didnt score. Tons of blocked shots.

  4. dropthepuckeh - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    They definitely should have capitalized on all of that PP time but it seems they thrive more on the short handed opportunities. Marchand and Campbell were all over the Caps on the Caps PP. I honestly think they gain more momentum killing penalties then they do on the PP. I see the danger in this but so far it has served them well…

    • back2backbees - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      “but so far it has served them well…”

      yup, one cup and making a strong play for a repeat

  5. govtminion - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    I don’t view it so much as the Bruins failing on the power play as much as I view it as Holtby just absorbing every shot that was sent his way. That was a masterful performance he put on.

  6. lordstanley65 - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Yep, you have to give Holtby credit, he did a manly job in net. If he stays solid, the B’s are in for a rough ride!

  7. rfoster75 - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    The B’s are loosing this series if the Caps can replicate the third period. On the PK for half the second period–that’s not going to be the case every game. Last year the B’s had some spectacular plat from Marchand, I don’t think he’s going to replicate that..Otherwise same team. Chalk up last nights first period as the B’s throwing out some red hot home momentum and playoff energy. I don’t see the caps being affected by that as much going forward. This will be a 7 game series and the pressure to win will undo Boston.

    • bearcountry17 - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Wait. Marchand doesn’t get on the stat sheet in a 1-0 game and you say he’s not going to replicate last years performance? kinda jumpin the gun on that one, no? In that case the Caps wont score a goal on Timmy all series, haha.

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