For all 30 NHL teams, this abbreviated season was bound to be a work in progress. No team was going to hit the ice for Game 1 in peak form, not after a long offseason and a five-day training camp.
That includes the Bruins. Despite their splendid 8-1-2 record after Tuesday’s late-rallying 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Rangers, the B’s haven’t yet played a game in which all three facets — offense, defense and special teams — were above reproach.
In very few games was the offensive production what it could and should have be. An ample number of legitimate scoring chances have been generated in nearly every game, but the finish has been lacking.
The team defense, certainly including the goaltending, has been fine.
And the special teams have been an enigma: The penalty-killing has been superb, No. 1 in the NHL as of yesterday with a 93.5 kill rate. The power play has been a flop, at times a sloppy mess, at times able to create chances but unable to convert them. The power play has climbed all the way to 28th in the league, with a pathetic 9.3 success percentage.
Rather than being troubled by any of the above, Bruins fans should be delighted that the team has cashed in 18 of a possible 22 points, and figures only to get better as the crowded season hurries along.
Indeed, that could start to happen shortly, after a day off yesterday and a practice today. The Bruins open a five-game trip in Buffalo tomorrow night, followed by a visit to unseasonably warm Winnipeg Sunday (forecast of 27 degrees), then games against Tampa Bay, Florida and the New York Islanders.
B’s make plans for trip
Boston Herald | Feb 14