Addressing the Issues in the Bruins' Power Play

MAR 16, 2023   |   BY DORIN CANADAY
Despite enjoying a substantial lead for tops in the NHL, the Boston Bruins have had one major area of concern throughout the second half of the season, and that's the power play.

Boston has fallen down the ranks but are currently 12th in the league on the power play at 22.5%. However, since January 1st, the Bruins are 13 for 88 on the man advantage, or 14.7%, which is lower than the league worst Philadelphia Flyers, who are sitting at 14.9% on the season.

According to Patrick Donnelly of Boston Sports Journal, it's because teams have found a way to exploit the Bruins limited options:

''Boston's go-to looks on the top power play are one-timers for David Pastrnak on the elbow or Patrice Bergeron in the high slot, or 'bumper.'' When those aren't there, it creates problems. Part of what has helped penalty kills find success over the last few seasons is closing down the passing lanes to Bergeron and Pastrnak, and having the high forward close on the puck carrier quickly to force a hasty decision. Usually, the Bruins can make decisions quickly, but the puck movement and motion away from the puck have stagnated throughout this latest slump.''

Another thing that Donnelly pointed out was the lack of motivation the Bruins have right now. That comes with the territory of clinching a playoff berth in March amid a historic season, and head coach Jim Montgomery knows that too.

As he noted how the current power play struggles are perhaps more concerning than a previous occurrence.

The B's bench boss eluded to that during his media availability after Tuesday's loss in Chicago (PP was 0 for 2):

''I mean maybe [it's a mental focus thing]. Now it's two stretches that we haven't had it. First one, I thought it was physical fatigue. This one, there's no reason for physical fatigue, and we look like we're tired.''

So how can the Bruins fix their power play?

The players have stated that they don't care about the team records or personal hardware for this season, but they have to find something to play for down the stretch - whether it be some friendly competition or wagers.

Maybe switching personnel between the first and second units? Or, plugging in a big body like Charlie Coyle, Garnet Hathaway or Trent Frederic in front of the net.

Besides, Boston has a plethora of offensive talent that includes Pastrnak, Marchand, Bergeron, Krejci, Hall, DeBrusk, Zacha, Bertuzzi, McAvoy, Orlov and Lindholm.

Out of those 10, hopefully Montgomery can find two units that can dominate when up a man.

As read on, Boston Sports Journal - Diagnosing what's wrong with the Bruins' power play
MARCH 16      151 ANSWERS
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