The Boston Bruins’ matchup Friday proved that returning its injured players to full health will not be enough to fix the team’s problems.
After an injury-filled start the the 2017-18 season, the Bruins once again had Brad Marchand and Noel Acciari at their disposal against the Toronto Maple Leafs. But the two healthy forwards apparently didn’t provide enough of a boost to give the Bruins the edge.
The Bruins and Leafs’ hard-fought game at the Air Canada Centre, despite the fact that Marchand and Acciari were game-ready, ended in a 3-2 loss for the B’s, suggesting that Boston’s production might be a bigger concern than its health.
Boston’s last two games have resulted in defeat, having fallen 4-2 to the New York Rangers on Wednesday, And while it hardly was outplayed by Toronto the way it was by New York, both losses seemingly stem from the B’s inability to score.
Toronto and Boston played near-identical games, as the Bruins recorded 35 shots on goal to the Leafs’ 33, even though the Bruins spent four minutes more in the penalty box. At Madison Square Garden, both the Rangers and Bruins put 33 shots on net, though the Bruins served six fewer penalty minutes.
In both games, however, only two of the B’s shots found their way to the back of the net — and that’s not a coincidence.
The Bruins, currently sitting 23rd in the NHL standings, have just 43 goals through the first 15 games of the season. That amounts to an average of 2.87 goals per game, which unsurprisingly means that they often don’t score more than two goals in a night.
Considering those numbers are about on par with other teams that are near Boston in the standings, it stands to reason that a higher production output will help the B’s improve their situation.
The Bruins will have another opportunity to see if Marchand can help find the back of the net Saturday, as Boston takes on the Leafs again at 7 p.m. ET at TD Garden.
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