The Bruins officially completed the season’s first quarter Friday night, and at 8-2-2, life isn’t so bad.
But in their 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, a lurking concern — overshadowed by the slightly overblown hysteria concerning the typically lagging power play — came to the forefront. Not only were the Bruins having trouble scoring on the man-advantage (though they did get a power-play goal Friday), they were having almost as much trouble scoring in 5-on-5 play. And considering that’s a much larger chunk of game time than the power play, it’s a much larger problem.
In Friday’s game, the B’s were up 2-1 and having their way with the Sabres, outshooting them 17-6 in the second period and close to running them out of the First Niagara Center. They didn’t, of course, and the Sabres handed them their second regulation loss of the season.
Going into last night’s games, the B’s ranked 16th in goals per game (2.67) and 15th in 5-on-5 goal differential (1.04). For the most part, they’ve remained a stellar team defense — they were seventh in the league in goals against (2.33) — especially if you remove the two regulation losses to Buffalo that appear for now to be outliers. But it’s clear that more oomph up front is necessary if they are to be the team they want to be, and think they are.
B’s seek finishing flourish
Boston Herald | Feb 17