Boston Bruins: Powerplay Firing on all Cylanders


As the Boston Bruins return home to face the Philadelphia Flyers this Wednesday,  Bruins fans breathe a sigh of relief following two impressive road victories against the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes.  In what had been the worst start for the team in the last 15 years, it appears the B’s have found some stability and managed to right a few wrongs in their game.

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The momentum the Bruins take with them back to the Garden owes some credit to a few key areas.  The first being Zdeno Chara‘s calming presence on the back end.  Regardless of how old he is, Chara is still a six foot nine monster who has managed to close the flood gates back up when the Bruins needed it most.

Beyond that, the Bruins offense looks to be settling into a groove, having cycled pucks extremely well over the past week and are creating scoring lanes, something they hadn’t done well during the first few games of the season.  The key to the Bruins success against the Avalanche and Coyotes is the fact that they are capitalizing when given opportunities.  The power play unit has jumped out in the early going as one of the most fearsome units in the NHL.  They are 7 of 18 on the man-advantage (38.9%) which is good for second in the league behind only Colorado.

David Krejci quarterbacks the unit alongside Torey Krug, who has been effective in feeding the power play with five assists.  Both terrific puck movers, the two have played smart and mobile hockey in the offensive zone.  Krejci is off to one of the hottest starts in the league with 9 points, which is tops in the NHL, deadlocked with Henrik Zetterberg.  He is showing once again what he can do when he’s at the top of his game, and that bodes well for the Bruins.

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  • As one of the best passers in the league, Krejci has three assists himself on the power play.  The two guys running the show are finding Patrice Bergeron (3 goals, all on the power play), who is off to a solid start, and Loui Eriksson, who has done a fine job finishing off plays in front of the net.  Chara, Pastrnak, and Kevan Miller have also pitched in by each tallying an assist in the limited time they have all seen on the second PP unit.

    The Bruins find themselves in a position early on that is the opposite of what they’ve grown accustomed to in recent years.  Their power play looks like one of the team’s stronger areas, and the defense is a liability.  Boston has to continue to take advantage of their opponent’s mistakes and perform well when they are getting push back, like we saw Saturday night in Arizona when the Coyotes scored a pair of third period goals in two and a half minutes to knot things up.  The Bruins responded well, which says a lot about the makeup of this team and its ability to limit damage.  With the defense somewhat stable again due to Chara’s return to the lineup, the Bruins will continue to win games as long as they focus on the details and keep putting together full 60 minutes performances like we saw the past two games.

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