Zdeno Chara in front of the net. Torey Krug and David Krejci at the points. Jarome Iginla at the half-wall. The new-look Bruins power play started this season with a bang, scoring three goals in just two games. The system looks improved, the personnel look better, and the results are coming.
While the Bruins power play showed signs of improvement in last year’s playoff run, it once again fell stale when it mattered the most.
A disappointing trend in Bruins hockey the past few years, power play production is something Boston hockey fans have only dreamed of; but with the addition of Iginla, and emergence of young offensive talents like Krug, there is reason for hope.
The Bruins started Thursday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche with an early power play. They had good movement, some shots on net, and even though they didn’t score they certainly gained some momentum.
They continued to create chances on the their second power play of the game- Dougie Hamilton and Johnny Boychuk both getting rocket shots through from the point. If the Bruins defensemen can continue to get shots through, the rebounds will be there and the goals will come.
Although they had some solid scoring chances, the Bruins own-zone laziness eventually caught up to them. Krejci took an unnecessary hooking penalty giving the Avalanche their first power play of the game. Ryan O’ Reilly had a beautiful tip in front of the net, beating Tuukka Rask, and giving the Avalanche a 1-0 lead after one period of play.
The second period was dull, to say the least. The Bruins definitely had the better of the play, outshooting the Avalanche 15-6, but couldn’t put the puck past veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Chemistry is clearly still grooming for the Bruins top two lines, but they improved their game defensively, keeping them in it against a hot and eager Colorado team.
In a one goal the game, the Bruins got a huge opportunity late in the third period with a four-on-three power play. They set up multiple one-timers and fired a number of shots on Giguere, but just couldn’t get that necessary goal.
Outshooting the Avs 39-30 in the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien felt it was just one of those nights.
“I think you run into a hot goaltender, you run into a team that’s been playing well – and they did,” he said. “They’ve got good speed and we talked about that for the last couple of days. It’s one of those things where you really have to grind it out; some night’s goals don’t come easy and what we had to do was get a little bit more traffic in front of a hot goaltender and take his eyes away. And we didn’t do a good enough job of that and then when we were in front, even looking from the bench, he could still see the puck. I don’t think we took his eyes away. So you have to give them credit for how well they played, yet I don’t think I’m really disappointed in the effort more than we have to find ways to win those games and we didn’t do it tonight.”
In regards to the power play, the Bruins head coach was pleased with their effort.
“Our power play was good again tonight. We had some shots and the goaltender made some saves and there were some loose pucks around the net, “ said Julien. “Our guys were over there but couldn’t jump on those and capitalize. So I’m certainly not disappointed in our power play tonight either; we had our chances, we had shots and we had scoring chances on that so it’s just a matter, again, of not being able to score.”