The Boston Bruins have struggled offensively as of late, but they may have some help on the way with a few offensively-gifted players returning to practice recently
The Boston Bruins fired 50 shots on net against the New York Islanders on Tuesday. Only two goals went past goaltender Thomas Greiss, however, and the Bruins lost their sixth in eight games. While the shots were there, it’s clear that the quality simply isn’t there. Bad luck obviously plays a role, but the offensive woes go beyond that, and the team knows it.
“There’s no reason why we should be playing as bad as we did,” Claude Julien said following the loss to NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley. “I think right now the mistakes have no doubt set us back.”
While the mistakes, bad luck, and inefficiency have hurt the Bruins this season, there might be help on the way. Not everybody in the NHL can be considered legitimate goal scorer. Fortunately, however, the Bruins have two goal scorers who are back and practicing with the team.
Goal Scorers Return
Frank Vatrano returned to Bruins’ practice Monday after a two-game stint in Providence. While playing in the AHL, Vatrano scored two goals, bringing his career AHL goals total to 38 goals in 38 games. While he can’t yet be considered a legitimate NHL goal scorer, there is clearly potential. The simple fact that Vatrano has an affinity to shoot the puck on net alone is a good start and his luck in the goal scoring department in the AHL is encouraging.
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While Vatrano’s goal-scoring will be a nice addition to the Bruins lineup when he eventually makes his debut, there is a proven NHL goal scorer who is back at practice as well. After missing a few games following surgery, David Pastrnak is back. The 20-year-old has been one of the best goal scorers this season with 19 goals and 26 points in 27 games.
Pastrnak’s return to practice is good news. The 20-year-old is excited to return to practice as well but fully understands that ailments happen.
“It’s always tough to watch games from the top,” Pastrnak said. “You want to play and you don’t want to spend any time injured. I’m happy to be back on the ice. I missed two games. It could always be worse. There aren’t many games during the season when you play 100 percent, so it’s hockey and it’s a part of the game.”
As Joe Haggerty noted, the Bruins have only scored three goals in Pastrnak’s two-game absence. In a slightly bigger sample size, they’ve scored just 12 in the seven games he’s missed on the year in total.
The Bruins have shown potential this season. From some impressive offensive spurts to solid goaltending, the potential is there. If the Bruins can put it all together at the same time, they could turn their season around. While they currently hold a playoff spot, there’s no denying that they’ve been very average this season as a whole.