This Stat Tells the Story of the 2021 Bruins

Jan 28, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) scores a goal past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry (35) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 28, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) scores a goal past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry (35) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /
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For the second time in the last three games, the Boston Bruins were held to one goal or less in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night at the TD Garden. Sunday night, the Bruins were blanked by the New Jersey Devils and goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, who made 40 saves.

As has been the case in most games this season, the Bruins finished the game outshooting their opponent. Against the Penguins, the Bruins finished the game with a 31-23 advantage in shots, but trailed on the scoreboard by three when the final horn sounded.

In what has become a common theme of late this season, Boston wins the shot battle, but loses on the scoreboard. In the third game of the season at home against the Penguins, despite holding a shot advantage by eight, the Bruins were badly beaten in high-danger chances, which tells the story of where the Black and Gold are currently with their offense.

Pittsburgh finished the game with 15 high-danger chances, compared to just three by the Bruins. Yes, that’s right, out of 31 shots fired at Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith, only three were considered high-danger. Pittsburgh finished with 15 high-danger chances out of their 23 shots. Ouch.

As has been the case in recent games, the B’s are getting a lot of shots on the net, but not many are testing the other team’s goalie.

All one has to do is take a look at what the Bruins opponents are doing and being successful against them. Opponents are getting traffic in front of the net and the defensemen are getting shots at the end, which helped the Devils beat the Bruins, 1-0, Sunday night when a simple shot from the point by NJ’s Ty Smith was redirected by Kyle Palmieri by Jaroslav Halak.

Thursday night, Pittsburgh took a page out of New Jersey’s book against Boston on Tuesday night by taking advantage of Boston turnovers and capitalizing. The Pens also did what the Devils were able to do and that was having a strong rush through the neutral zone, which allowed them to get by the Bruins defense on different occasions and have several clear-cut chances on Dan Vladar.

Boston is creating chances, but those chances are not high-danger chances. They are not getting good rushes through the neutral zone or having good offensive zone entries like their opponents. Any NHL goalie is going to stop a shot they see. Any NHL goalie is going to stop a shot that comes from far out. The Bruins are getting shots, but they’re getting shots that mostly have no traffic in front of the net.

Related Story. Bruins Fall to Red-Hot Penguins, 4-1. light

After the first line, who on this Bruins roster scares their opponent with their ability to score? Not many. General manager Don Sweeney has some decisions to make by the trade deadline, but as the Black and Gold are built now, do they have enough scoring to get into the postseason? Time will tell.