Boston’s power play remains among the worst in the league statistically speaking, ranked 26th in the NHL. Through 14 games this season, the B’s have only scored six goals on 46 chances, which gives them a success rate of 13 percent.
However, if Bruins fans are expecting the club to make any sort of big personnel changes to jump-start that unit, those fans may be in for disappointment.
The solution, general manager Peter Chiarelli says, may come from within the organization somehow.
“We think we can handle it internally,” Chiarelli told ESPN.com. “We’ve got the players and the skill where we should be ranked higher than we’re ranked. Part of that is that in general — even strength or power play — we’re not finishing our chances. That lack of confidence turns over to the power play, so that’s part of it. I think we can manage it internally, and I certainly feel we have the personnel to have a better power play.”
The Bruins started to bury those chances — the even strength chances, at least — on Thursday night in a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Boston didn’t get a chance to work on the power play, though, with the only Tampa Bay penalty coming at the 20:00 mark of the third period.
They’ll continue to work on things in practice, and Chiarelli says the desire for an internal fix to the power play extends to the coaching staff as well.
“We have confidence in our coaches and I have confidence in our coaches,” Chiarelli told ESPN.com. “Actually, lately the margin has been so slim where we’ve scored one or two seconds out of a power play and then counting that we’ve had three in our last four games, and I like our movement on the power play.”
Ultimately, Chiarelli thinks getting more power-play chances may also be an answer. The Bruins, who have played the fewest games in the NHL season, are tied for the fewest power play opportunities in the league. To put it in perspective, though, the Calgary Flames have 54 power-play chances in 15 games — one more game than Boston has played. That’s only the 27th-most power-play opportunities in the league.
“The one thing that’s never really brought up on our power play is that we’re perennially in the lower quartile of power-play opportunities,” Chiarelli added. “I don’t know why that is, and certainly there is something to be said about repetition. The more chances you get, the more you’re going to get in a groove. I don’t know why that is, but I just wanted to make that observation.”