Bruins, we have a problem! And it’s been a consistent problem for at least a couple years now. Where does the Bruins offense come from after the first line? After two games of play, the Bruins are tied for last in the NHL with three goals scored. They are also the ONLY team without a goal 5on5. In the first game against the Devils, their two goals came from the Power Play and in the second tilt. Their lone goal came from new Captain Patrice Bergeron and the penalty kill unit.
While it’s good to get the Power Play going early in the season and to see Patrice Bergeron get a shorty, the lack of consistency in their scoring needs to be addressed.
Granted, the Bruins are missing a world-class sniper and perennial All Star in David Pastrnak. He’s currently dealing with a hip injury. Original prognosis was for him to return mid-February. Reports are that he’s ahead of schedule as he’s been skating with the team. I can’t see him lacing em up before February starts, though. Pastrnak had 48 goals and 95 points in 70 games in 2019-20. Pastrnak is a part of the perfect line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. These three carry all the weight in the scoring department.
Secondary Scoring Issues
The secondary scoring has been a problem for the Bruins offense for a couple years now. The Bruins addressed this in the offseason signing of Craig Smith. Smith came to Boston from the Nashville Predators, where he scored 18 goals and recorded 31 points last season. He’s only played one of the two games vs the Devils so far but in that game he wasn’t a factor with two shots on goal.
David Krejci is a gifted playmaker on the second line but hasn’t found a consistent winger who can score next to him. Yesterday coach Bruce Cassidy was trying anything to generate offense. Mixing and matching linemates who have never played together before to get some chances to score. However, nothing seemed to work as they had three shot attempts in the high-danger (slot, net-front) area on Saturday, according to Natural Stat Trick. They got no real quality chances, like tips, screens, or traffic in front of Devils netminder MacKenzie Blackwood, who stopped 27 of 28 shots.
On the opposite side of the ice, the Bruins defense and goaltending has been solid. They’ve allowed only four goals in two games with both goalies starting a game a piece. This is a welcome sight after the departure of Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug in the offseason, as well as Tuuka Rask, who left the playoff bubble early to tend to a family emergency. Kevan Miller is back in action after a 21-month absence due to a shattered kneecap. He set the tone yesterday by dropping the gloves on the first shift of the game with Miles Wood, who had two goalie interference penalties on Tuuka Rask in game one.
The Bruins won’t win many games scoring one goal a game and frankly that’s too much to ask for on the defense. Hopefully, we will see the secondary lines pick it up while David Pastrnak heals up from his hip injury.
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