With what currently feels like an ongoing Providence Bruins tour of the NHL the undermanned and beat up Boston Bruins are in a desperate search for offensively gifted warm bodies.
The B’s have managed to score just seven goals over their last 12+ periods of hockey. They sadly only put one (on 39 shots) by Curtis “Who?” McElhinney and the Maple Leafs last Saturday. And last night, until Noel Acciari’s nice finish in the final minute during garbage time, the Bruins had only mustered one goal on 41 shots against the Ducks.
What’s worse, the B’s have only scored one power play goal in their last 14 man-advantage attempts during that same 12+ period stretch.
Without Brad Marchand, David Krejci, David Backes, recently Anders Bjork, and even to an extent Ryan Spooner, (Krug also left the game with an injury last night but there hasn’t been an update on the extent of it), the pile of remaining players are now shuffled in and out of their natural spots on the depth chart in an attempt to find some sort of offense. Even “Mr. Zero Points Through 13 Games”, Matt Beleskey, is being thrown on the power play. Times are tough.
The one spark the Bruins desperately could use should come in the form of David Krejci returning to the lineup tonight. As of now he is a game time decision. But he’s made the trip to the west coast with the team and all signs point to him suiting up against the Kings. He alone could be ignite the power play and help the offensive get running down hill.
Prior to his back injury Krejci put up 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists) in the 6 games he played this season. Of his 6 points, four came on the power play. Krejci still holds the best faceoff percentage (57.7) on the team as well, which is also a key asset on special teams.
As a team the Bruins went 8-for-27 (29.6%) on the man advantage with Krejci in the lineup and running the second unit back in mid-October. Since his injury, the B’s have dipped to less than half of their power play production (14.7%), going a miserable 5-for-34. And beyond the numbers, the power play has just looked ugly of late. Krejci can make it all look and operate better.
Despite what the knuckle draggers on social media scream about the Bruins clearly need Krejci in the lineup. He is a fantastic player, a power play wizard, and he helps prevent the Bruins from being a one line team. He will make the rookies around him better and lighten the load throughout the lineup. No, it won’t solve everything, there are still plenty of ingredients missing for the B’s to be consistently successful. But Krejci can be the spark needed to keep the season out of the basement and get things headed in the right direction offensively.
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