A team that was red hot in October and November is now suddenly struggling to achieve wins. The Bruins are 4-4 in their last eight games. Overtime losses have been the biggest culprit concerning the Bruins. In this post, we will examine three areas that the Bruins need to improve upon going forward.
Bruins Defensive Woes
As of late, the Bruins defense has shown signs of breaking down. Overall, the club has a league-high of 9 overtime losses. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy continues to rotate goalies Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak.
However, it’s been the defense that seems to be showing signs of fatigue and inconsistency. In Monday’s win over Washington, the team gave up two goals late in the third period. On one play, in particular, the defense was outhustled by the Capitals forward which resulted in a goal.
Chara Still Piling Up The Minutes
Team captain Zdeno Chara continues to rack up the minutes each night. As of late, the defense has been victims of late-period goals. At 42 years old, Chara is still one of the Bruin’s most valuable players.
Lately, the Bruins have been getting young Connor Clifton and John Moore extra playing time. Moore, who missed six weeks due to an injury, gives the club a boost offensively. Clifton, who was recalled late last season, is still a work in progress.
If the Bruins expect to win in the postseason the this is one area that needs improvement. Nine overtime losses at this stage of the season are high and will only get more difficult.
Power Play Fairly Stable
The Bruins power play has been at the top of the standings so far this season. Overall, the club has scored 35 goals and has given up only 18. Defenseman Torey Krug is one of the league’s best on the PP.
Blowing leads has been a common characteristic as of late, something that Bruin fans are unaccustomed to. Two games that stand out were a four-goal lead that vanished against Florida in November, and the most recent one being a late period surge that resulted in an overtime loss to the Kings last week.
The Season Ahead
If the Bruins expect to return to the Stanley Cup Finals then the defense has to tighten up. The Bruins are their best when the defense plays sound hockey. The group of Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, Steven Kampfer, Connor Clifton, Zdeno Chara, and Torey Krug are one of the leagues best. Still, nine overtime losses are reason to be concerned.
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