It’s clear that the Bruins need a goal scorer. Do they miss Phil Kessel? Perhaps. Anytime a team gives up a 36-goal scorer it is going to have to find another way to make up the difference. But Kessel did not impress in his debut with Toronto on Tuesday night, and isn’t the sole reason the Bruins are not scoring goals.
Boston has scored only one goal in its last three games. There were plenty of quality scoring chances for the B’s against the Red Wings, but for some reason, the puck just isn’t finding the net.
"We hit some posts and missed some great opportunities," coach Claude Julien said after the Bruins' 2-0 loss. "Somehow, you’re going to have to make it happen if you want to turn this thing around. Simple as that. It’s up to us to decide how tired we are of losing games that we hear we’re playing OK in and do something about it."
The lack of production on the power play certainly doesn’t help their scoring — 2-for-43 with the man advantage in 13 games just isn’t going to cut it. When an extra player is on the ice and the team isn’t able to jell, it makes it harder to generate offense at even strength.
So what’s the silver lining to all of this, or is there any?
By not scoring goals, the Bruins are tightening up the rest of their game so when the goals start coming, the rest will fall into place.
Defensively, the Bruins have been sound. Julien has emphasized activating the defense more in practices. And the Bruins have arguably the best one-two punch in the league in goaltending with Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask alternating starts on a somewhat regular basis. While the goals aren’t coming at quite the pace they were last season, it’s only a matter of time.
"For us right now, we’re in a pretty dry spell," Blake Wheeler said after the loss in Detroit. "There’s no need to panic. Our game is really good everywhere except for the reward part."
The Bruins had six players score 20 or more goals last season. Kessel (36) and Chuck Kobasew (21) are no longer with the team, so count them out. But players like Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm are healthy and fully capable of a 20-plus goal season. Not to mention Mark Recchi, who came over from the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline and in total amassed 23 goals on the season between the two teams. Zdeno Chara had 19, and Milan Lucic tallied 17. There is more than enough talent on this current Bruins roster to score goals, and lots of them.
Patience is a virtue, they say. The frustration has kicked in with the Bruins. The challenge now becomes how to channel the frustration and overcome its imperious control.The best way to do that is for the team to work on the other areas of its game, continue to make improvements and hope that the goals come.
"The minute you start taking away from the things you're doing well to try and compensate to score goals, you open yourself to a lot more problems," Wheeler said. "The feeling is a when-it-rains-it-pours kind of thing. … But when we get the next goal or two, we've got a lot of dangerous guys. There’s no reason to panic."Eventually, the goals will come.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP