WILMINGTON, Mass. — Inconsistency was a concern for the Boston Bruins last season, and an emphasis on correcting that will be made entering the 2015-16 campaign.
The Bruins are back on the ice this week for informal practices at Ristuccia Arena. Starting goaltender Tuukka Rask was among the players in attendance at Tuesday’s session, and when asked about the disappointing 2014-15 season, he pointed to inconsistency as a problem.
“I try not to even think about last year, but we were just so inconsistent,” Rask said. “We couldn’t put up a stretch where we gained a lot of points. When we played a couple good games, we always fell back. … I think that was our biggest issue last season.”
Rask was fairly consistent throughout the season, but the same could not be said for most other aspects of the team.
The B’s had nine forwards play 70 or more games last season, and Milan Lucic was the only one who never once went 10 games without scoring a goal. As a team, the Bruins didn’t have back-to-back months of 2.85 goals or more per game.
The power play improved in February when head coach Claude Julien changed the units, but the group did have four separate droughts of four or more games, including one 10-game drought. The penalty kill also struggled to maintain any consistency with just one month over 83 percent.
The Bruins had three winning streaks of five or more games, but their record after a win was just 22-16-3. It’s hard to make up ground in the playoff race when putting together two or three wins in a row doesn’t happen often.
For the B’s to return to the Stanley Cup playoffs this season, consistency is crucial, particularly because they have a roster that’s undergone a lot of changes over the summer and has several young, inexperienced players who will play key roles.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports Images