The Bruins are currently 7-3-0. With all the mediocrity and sub par teams out there, we should be thrilled we’ve got one of the true powerhouse teams in the league. We’ve got a great team, with a core of players that remember the 2011 Stanley Cup win. The fans are behind them, and they’re getting the job done. So, why are people not as excited as they should be? I think there are a few reasons, and I’ll put them out there.
Reason # 1 – The penalty kill. The Bruins special teams used to be a Black and Gold wall against any intruders that tried to get a goal past them while they were shorthanded. Four power play goals scored against them in the loss to the New Jersey Devils should be a big wake up call for the B’s. You know there have been a lot of practices focused on being a man down, and the Bruins will need to have better coverage on the penalty kill to avoid another Devils game. (I don’t know about some of you, but that Devils loss looked and felt a lot like last year’s Stanley Cup game six to me.)
Reason # 2 – Penalties. The penalty kill problem would be reduced if the Bruins stopped gathering some sloppy penalties. The Bruins have played well, but they’ve taken penalties that shouldn’t have happened. Sure, we can all blame the occasional one on the refs, but the Bruins need to play a tighter game, especially on the back check if they would like to cut back on their time in the sin bin.
Unless Milan Lucic wants to pound someone into the ice, then that’s sort of a different story.
Reason # 3 – Big Z. Zdeno Chara, the Bruins captain hasn’t been the monstrous presence he usually has been. His new role as screen on the power play has produced some dividends, but it seems the big guy looks a little slower on the draw than usual. That could be father time catching up, or it could be partially working in a new blueline that is younger and faster.
Reason # 4 – Brad Marchand. Marchand came through for us the last few years as a solid linesman, a dependable scorer, and a totally bedeviling pain in the arse to whomever they were skating against. His speed is still there, there is no denying that. It just seems that his hands haven’t come back from the offseason yet. He has made a few really bad turnovers in the last few games that has caused Tuukka Rask to be a little more brilliant in the net. I’m really hoping Marchand of this season will be like Lucic of last season. A little slow to warm up, but once he was hot he was unstoppable.
Those in my opinion are the big reasons why the Bruins just don’t feel like the powerhouse we know they can be. They are still a top five team, and when they fire on all cylinders, they are unstoppable. I think we all would just like to see a little more fuel put in the engine.