Bruins Notes: Jim Montgomery Not Committing To ‘Easy’ Power Play Fix

'We laid an egg tonight'


Mar 28, 2023

BOSTON — The Bruins haven’t exactly hit a skid, but their 7-3 pace over the last 10 games is slightly below the one they’ve been on all season.

Now, is this cause for panic? No. It does raise some questions as to what has led to whatever struggles they’ve experienced over that stretch. One possible reason is the power play.

Boston has been dominant in nearly every facet of the game this season, but their results on the man-advantage have been severely lacking. The Bruins have converted on just 21.2% of their power-play opportunities, good for 15th best in the NHL. Their loss Tuesday against the Nashville Predators provided another 0-for-5 night in that category, which was enough to raise questions as to whether or not change was on the horizon.

“We’ve changed it up quite a bit here over the past month,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said postgame. “Change isn’t always the answer, although it seems like the easiest answer. It’s players committing to doing the right thing.

“We didn’t have our ‘A’ game tonight. It wasn’t only the power play that stunk (Tuesday). There’s a lot of facets of our game that weren’t at the level and the standard that we expect. For whatever reason, we laid an egg tonight.”

The Bruins rolled out a number of power play units, with success following none of them. Undergoing a complete overhaul with just eight games to go before the Stanley Cup Playoffs is out of the question, so what exactly can they do to fix things?

“I think we’re just trying to be too perfect,” Montgomery said postgame. “If we don’t get success right away — we’re not recovering pucks. That’s when you know you’re not playing fast on the power play. We take a shot and we’re not on the rebound… When you’re on top of your power play, you’re converging the net and coming up with those pucks.”

Here are more notes from Tuesday’s Bruins-Predators game:

— The early minutes of this matchup followed an unfamiliar script for Boston. It was the 27th time the Bruins had played in a scoreless first period, but just the fourth time they had gone scoreless through two periods, per Nick Kieser of Predators Radio Network.

— Jim Montgomery briefly put the “Perfection Line” of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak together again. The unit spent the majority of the third period together, generating some solid chances.

— Pastrnak scored his 52nd goal of the season with 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation, preventing the Bruins’ second shutout loss of the season.

— The Bruins will cap off their two-game homestand Thursday when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Puck drop from TD Garden is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. You can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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