Can an improved power play bring the Bruins the Stanley Cup?

Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of the Boston skyline and the phrase “Go B

We’re all fans of the Bruins here. We love the physicality, and we love their defensive minded team play. We’re thrilled to see them score, and we love how the lines interact with each other. We love how hard they fight on the penalty kill, and we love they went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals last season.

Now that we all have admitted our love for 98% of the things our Boston Bruins do, let’s take a look at the one ugly stat on the books. The Bruins have had a horrible time with the man advantage. Several times during the season, commentators (and fans alike) lamented on the lack of a rule that allowed the Bruins to ‘decline’ a penalty. The Boston Bruins only scored a dismal 14.8% of the time.  Seventeen goals on one hundred and twenty two attempts. (That put the Bruins, our 2013 Eastern Conference Champions in twenty-sixth place.)

This is obviously the Bruins greatest opportunity to work on going into this season. It was obvious to Bruins management, and they decided to address it at the bargaining table. Bruins’ general manager Peter Chiarelli shuffled the deck of available players and offered up Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to the hockey god of trades. In return, the hockey gods gave us back more than we could ask for, and a serious chance to improve the Bruins’ power play odds this season.

Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla are solid players. They bring the same level of intensity and professionalism as Peverley, and the same natural talent for the game as Seguin. They also bring substantial stats when it comes to their work on the power play. Eriksson is a tremendous two way player that can routinely score on the power play or the penalty kill. His probable placement on the Bergeron line makes them even more dangerous as both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand have no trouble taking the goal to the crease while down a man.

Iginla is just a man who is just further polishing his legend. At the moment Iginla has 135 career power play goals. (That’s more than some franchises.) He has had ten seasons with ten or more power play goals in a regular season. He will likely end up with the most talented bull (I mean bear) in the china shop Milan Lucic and space maker David Krejci.

These new additions will solidify a much higher placement in the power play percentage for Boston. Factoring in all the missed opportunities last season, and the potential for phenominal improvement, the Boston Bruins are now the most dangerous team in the Eastern Conference.  It would be shocking not to see them in the Stanley Cup Finals again this year.

Topics: Boston Bruins, Jarome Iginla, Loui Eriksson

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  • Mark Peterson

    Great line “Several times during the season, commentators (and fans alike) lamented on the lack of a rule that allowed the Bruins to ‘decline’ a penalty.”

    This brings to mind penalty shots. Currently, If they miss the penalty shot, they also lose the opportunity to go on the power play. I think that if they miss the penalty shot, they should still get the man advantage.

    How disheartening is it to see a great scoring opportunity, interrupted by penalty, end up in a failed penalty shot. This has never made any sense to me. A penalty on a scoring opportunity should carry the additional burden.

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  • Bojangles

    As alarming as the Bs PP% is the actual lack of opportunities they generate to be on the PP. Blows my mind how few times they actually go on the PP. In my mind – their low percentage of success has been less about talent, and more about approach. This team sits in their umbrella (or whatever set up) and doesn’t move. The key to the PP, as with any sport is to move and force the D to react. If the Bs had their skaters rotating spots, and cutting through the box it would open up seams and create chances. They also have had players (Mr. Seguin) who love to get the puck and survey the scene. Get it and give it and move.

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