Feb. 15, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) looks for the puck against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Man Disadvantage: 5 Possible Solutions for the Bruins on the powerplay

The big question over hanging the Bruins at the moment is their abysmal powerplay. In the last 3 games however the Bruins have shown some improvement on the Powerplay. In the last 3 games the Bruins have had 3 powerplay chances (2 against Buffalo and 1 against Winnipeg). The Bruins have scored 2 powerplay goals in those 3 chances, with goals coming from rookie defenceman Dougie Hamilton and Brad Marchand.

The Bruins had no chances against Tampa Bay (a powerplay opportunity opened up at the end of the 3rd period however.) and it is unknown if the 2 in 3 in the last 3 games has made a dramatic impact on the powerplay. If it hasn’t, the question then turns to “Who the hell can help the Bruins now?”. Recently GM Peter Chiarelli was spotted scouting players from the Rangers, Islanders, and the Flyers; with 8+ million available in cap space who can the Bruins go after to help with the powerplay?

Feb. 7, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes center Steve Sullivan (26) passes the puck up ice during the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

1. Steve Sullivan

 LW (Right) / Cap Hit: $ 2,600,000
Current Team: Phoenix Coyotes
2011-12 PPG: 5 (Pittsburgh) / 2012-13 PPG: 2 (Phoenix Coyotes)

Steve Sullivan has been a noted special teams scorer through out his career. He netted a career high 13 PPG in 2005-06 as a member of the Nashville Predators, during that season he went 31-37=68. He has scored another 24 powerplay goals between the 2005-06 and 2012-13  season. 2011-12 (his one season stint with the Penguins) saw him net 5 powerplay goals along with 16 powerplay assists. Pittsburgh were 5th in the league with 19.7% on the powerplay last season with 57 PPG on 289 opportunities.  Sullivan would be a perfect depth scorer for the Bruins down on the third line, as much as I love Chris Bourque, he needs to be in Providence for now until he is more comfortable playing at the NHL level. Yes his poise and puck handling has gotten better, but Sullivan is an established NHLer and will be able to fit in with Kelly and Peverly.

2. Matt Moulson

 LW (Left) / Cap Hit: $ 3,133,333
Current Team: New York Islanders
2011-12 PPG: 14 (New York Islanders) / 2012-13 PPG: 6 (New York Islanders)

Staying within the east and considering Chiarelli was looking at Long Island, Matt Moulson would be more than a perfect fit for the Boston Bruins powerplay. 14 PPG last season (along with 10 PPA) as the Islanders logged 18.5% on the powerplay. Moulson is definitely a top 6 forward, logging 3 consecutive 30 goal seasons from 2009-10 to 20111-12. Chiarelli said he didn’t want to go after Top 6 forwards however considering the nasty slump Tyler Seguin is on right now (and he’s improving at a snails pace) demoting him to the third line and putting Moulson up on the 2nd line wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Bruins. An established 30 goal scorer would definitely help boost scoring on the team.

 

Feb 15, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) skates with the puck during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

3. Wayne Simmonds

 RW (Right) / Cap Hit: $ 3,975,000
Current Team: Philadelphia Flyers
2011-12 PPG: 11 ( Philadelphia Flyers) / 2012-13 PPG: 3 ( Philadelphia Flyers)

Wayne Simmonds is a gritty power forward who would fit great in Boston. His style of hard hitting fast paced play has seen him net two 40 point seasons in his career. Last season he logged 11 power-play goals (second on his team to Scott Hartnell) as the Flyers tied Pittsburgh’s 17.9% on the powerplay. Simmonds would be a great second line or third line forward in Boston and with an affordable cap hit, it shouldn’t be a hard transition for him to adapt to life as Bruin.

Jan 29, 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Milan Michalek (9) controls the puck in the first period against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

4. Milan Michalek

 LW (Left) / Cap Hit: $ 4,333,333
Current Team: Ottawa Senators
2011-12 PPG: 10 ( Ottawa Senators) / 2012-13 PPG: 0 ( Ottawa Senators)

This one is a little less likely to happen, considering 1. Michalek is currently day-to-day with a knee injury, his estimated return is unknown, and 2. He is a member of the Ottawa Senators. And that isn’t a bad thing, it’s just inter-division trades are never a good thing. Yeah, a team can trade a bottom 6 forward they don’t think will turn into anything and all of a sudden it turns around to bite them in the ass when he scores on his former team every game they play. But Michalek (tied for 15th last year in PPG) was tied with teammate Jason Spezza for leaders in powerplay goals. Spezza is a guy who between 06-07 and 11-12 has had 5 double-digit powerplay goal seasons. Michalek would help out the Bruins powerplay a lot but it is doubtful he would come to the team now, especially with the injury, but crazier things have happened.

February 1, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Johan Franzen (93) skates with the puck against the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Johan Franzen

 LW (Left) / Cap Hit: $ 3,954,545
Current Team: Detroit Red Wings
2011-12 PPG: 11 (Detroit Red Wings) / 2012-13 PPG: 1 (Detroit Red Wings)

Another player tied in the league at 11th with 11 goals, and he lead his team (Tomas Holmstrom was 1 goal behind with 10).  Franzen has had three 50+ point seasons in his career, and a career high 14 powerplay goals in 2008-09. He is the kind of guy you can rely on for powerplay scoring, and like Michalek has had his fair share (4) double digit powerplay goal seasons. Detroit probably would not want to part with Franzen unless the price is just right. The Wings are struggling right now, so his 1 PPG this season can be forgiven to a degree. He has proven he can do powerplay damage in the past, and a player like Franzen could help the Bruins in more ways than one.

 

All salary cap information provided by CapGeek.com

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Tags: Boston Bruins Johan Franzen Matt Moulson Milan Michalek Powerplay Steve Sullivan Wayne Simmonds

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