The Bruins are having problems with the power play, which is turning into a annual gripe for B’s fans. Boston’s power play has yet to be plugged in, but head coach Claude Julien isn’t yet worried about the lack of results on the man advantage.
Even though the Bruins enter this week 1-for-17 (5.9 percent) on the power play, Julien is advising the emerging critics to chill out for a little bit. The season is young, he says, and according to the bench boss, things have been better than they seem.
“We’re four games in, guys,” Julien told reporters Sunday, according to The Boston Globe. “I’d say three or four games we’ve moved the puck well, [hit] posts, and had a goal that was disallowed. A lot of things have happened. I think people have to take a step back here and understand.”
Julien is likely trying to put a positive spin on a unit that operates best when working with momentum and good mojo. The Boston power play has neither at this point, though. They’re second-to-last in terms of power-play success (only the 0-for-32 Kings are worse). The only other team with fewer than two power-play goals is Colorado. In fact, there are eight teams whose power-play goal total is greater than the Bruins’ power-play success percentage.
But hey, don’t worry about that, says the coach.
“I think people have to take a step back here and maybe breathe a little easier here with this stuff, not make it a mountain out of a power play,” Julien said, according to the Globe. “Certainly we want to work it well, but it’s not the end of the world.
“We’re still winning some hockey games. We’re still unbeaten in regulation. And our power play has given us some momentum, has given us some chances. So we hope that with time we’ll get more results than we have so far.”
Maybe the power play hasn’t been 1-for-17 bad, which would back up Julien’s point. But far too often, like Friday night against the Islanders, the Bruins have looked lost with a man advantage. You could even say they’ve gotten much more momentum out of their penalty kill. That unit, which is 17-for-17 so far, has been the one generating the special teams momentum.
Despite Julien’s insistence that not all is lost on the power play, even he can admit that things need to get better.
The Bruins have the talent to produce power-play tallies. They have playmakers like Tyler Seguin and David Krejci. They have big bodies with big shots like Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, who can also get to the net and score goals. Zdeno Chara has one of the hardest shots in the game, making him a dangerous option at the point. Dougie Hamilton has shown the ability to move the puck on the blue line as well, assisting on the lone power-play tally.
There is an answer somewhere. The Bruins are too talented to struggle with the same area of the game year in and year out. Now it’s on them to make the adjustments and improvements. It’s still early, sure, but if the problems continue, those complaints about the not-so-power play will continue to get louder and louder.