Perfection (n) /per/fek/shen/ – the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
The “Perfection Line” – the phrase dubbed by local media to describe the Boston Bruins’ top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak.
Looking at the above two terms, one could argue that the accuracy and the similarities between them are spot on. No question there. Ironically, the Bruins should not be perfect. They cannot be perfect. It will be their downfall.
The fact of the matter is that Boston has a secondary-scoring problem, and this goes all the way back to last season. During the 2018-19 campaign, the top trio for Boston posted a combined 106 goals and 154 assists for 260 total points. Once the regular season ended and the playoffs began, they flat out ran out of gas. Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak skated in all 24 postseason games for the Bruins and scored just nine goals each.
Fast forward to this season, the Bruins are nine games in and the trend seems to be matching the status quo from a year ago. The B’s number one line has 17 goals—10 of which belong to Pastrnak—and 22 assists for 39 points. Just to put things into perspective, the team as a whole has 26 goals.
The Bruins are playing with fire. Eventually, the flame is going to burn out. The only remedy is for the rest of the team to shoulder some of the offensive responsibility.
Both Brett Richie and Danton Heinen each have two goals, while the likes of Jake DeBrusk and Joakim Nordstrom only have one goal each. The rest of the key offensive pieces have a big goose egg next to their names in the goals column.
Heck, even Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara have more combined goals than the rest of the forwards.
The Bruins have a pretty good idea about what the fourth line is going to bring every game, which is solid fore-checking and playing responsible hockey. Any production in the offensive zone is gravy. The worry should not lie within that group.
However, players like David Krejci and Charlie Coyle (and even Anders Bjork, to a certain degree) should be able to rack up more points than what they have shown so far. Krejci has been sidelined with an upper-body injury the last few games and Bjork just got recalled from Providence, but the excuses should not take center stage.
Krejci, Coyle, and Bjork have a combined three points through nine games. That is not good enough, not by a long shot.
These are players that are more than capable of scoring. A deep team that can get production throughout the forward lines is a key factor to making a lengthy playoff run. The Bruins have the star power to be playing hockey this coming June again and it would be a shame if they cannot put it all together.
The second and third lines are certainly getting some great chances. It is just a matter of burying those scoring chances when the opportunity presents itself. The schedule eases up for the Bruins in the coming weeks, so now is the time for players not named Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak to rack up the stats. Things should round into form very soon.
Of course, this problem could be addressed by Boston making a trade for forward help outside of the organization. However, that is not always a guarantee. We have to assess the roster as currently constituted.
As you can see, “perfection” is not all it is cracked up to be, especially if you are the Bruins.