Boston Bruins: Why Promote Max Talbot?


The Boston Bruins are in desperate need of experienced players who can play the ice while being short-handed. Currently the Boston Bruins penalty kill percentage is a woeful 70.0%, making them the worst team in the National Hockey League. This is the worst it’s been during the Claude Julien era (The 2007-08 season the B’s had a 78.6% success rate on the PK).

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The Bruins understand how rough it’s been, especially having Tyler Seguin come in an undress the B’s in a 5-3 defeat at the TD Garden. The B’s were only able to stop one of the four power play opportunities for Dallas in that loss.

“I feel we’re on our heels,” said Coach Claude Julien about the B’s special teams. “Right now, the confidence level isn’t there like it should be.”

“That’s our job as players,as a team, as a group, as a coaching staff, to create that confidence you need to kill penalties. It takes sacrifices, whether it’s blocking shots, whether it’s being more assertive in certain areas, having better sticks. Those are the areas that have to get better for us.”

When the Boston Bruins reactivated Maxime Talbot to replace the injured Chris Kelly on the Bruins roster, some Bruins fans were perplexed. The Bruins could have called up several players that are far more proficient in bringing pucks on net. Alexander Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith, and Frank Vatrano are explosive young forwards that could bring more scoring chances to the B’s. With so many young guns available in Providence, why turn to Talbot?

The Bruins need a reliable defensive-minded forward and among their Providence players, Max Talbot is the best candidate.

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  • The Bruins know they have to get better on the penalty kill. Most of the Bruins were called into the coaches office after Wednesday’s morning practice to attend a meeting on how to address the penalty kill problems.

    This road trip could only make the B’s woes more prominent. The Capitals are ninth in the league on the power play, getting goals on the man advantage 22.6% of the time. When the B’s travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens on Saturday, they’ll be facing the fourth best power play unit in the league (24%). Then they wrap up the road trip on Sunday against the New York Islanders. The Islanders are even better at the power play(3rd, 27.6%), and it will be a test not only to do well on the penalty kill, but to stay out of the box all together.

    “I feel we have the players in that dressing room to be a better penalty-killing team,” said the B’s bench boss after practice. “Right now, we just haven’t done a good enough job, even at clearing pucks. It’s a work in progress. But it’s something we plan on rectifying here.”

    The first step to fixing that problem is to put the right person on the team. At the moment, Talbot is the best choice in Boston to help stop the bleeding on the penalty kill.

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