Friday, April 02, 2010
The Bruins were hosting the 12th place Florida Panthers, playing against their backup goalie, coming off a big win in New Jersey. Everything on paper said the B's would bag 2 points. But this team has defied logic, reason, and continuity all season long.
What makes this defeat really sting is that both the Flyers and Thrashers lost. Even if the B's had managed only 1 point, they would've shot up to 6th place, with a 3 point cushion over Atlanta. As it is, it's back to 8th.
The Bruins are 9th in the NHL in shots per game at 31.5. Not bad. Yet they're 30th in goals per game, at 2.36. That translates to a 7.87% shooting percentage. That's not good.
Not only did the B's get 36 shots on net last night, they had 31 shots blocked by the Panthers. That means they launched 67 shots, only 36 got to the goalie, and 0 got by him. Very few of those 67 shots were of any notable quality. Very token shooting.
The Bruins' shooting strategy seems simple: ready, aim, fire. Only forget the aiming. The Bruins never seem to try to hit a particular area of the goalmouth, they just want to put the puck on net. Which is fine, at times. But there are times when you have to try to go top shelf, or slip through the 5 hole.
And there's nobody on the Bruins who has shown the talent to properly aim his shots, especially within the fraction of a second needed to do it. Let's just go through the Bruins' forwards:
Steve Begin - no way
Patrice Bergeron - at times, but needs lots of space and/or a massive target
David Krejci - comes the closest
Milan Lucic - no hands, self-describes his shooting as "just wanting the shoot the puck as hard as I can."
Brad Marchand - nope
Daniel Paille - has some skill, but his release isn't fast enough
Mark Recchi - pretty much tries to tip it in
Michael Ryder - worthless
Miroslav Satan - can aim the puck well, just struggles to maintain possession
Vladimir Sobotka - nah
Marco Sturm - maybe slightly better than Bergeron, but still needs space
Blake Wheeler - used to be able to in the 1st half of 08-09, but forgot how
Shawn Thornton - nope
But we should be used to games like this one. And in the playoffs, you'll see plenty more.
Bruins @ Maple Leafs Saturday. Another crappy team that the Bruins need to get points from. Because after Toronto, it's Washington (who the Bruins play in Washington twice in their last 4 games).
AP Photo/Charles Krupa