Mike Green, Brad Marchand

Bruins’ power play might be a weakness again


The Boston Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup run was impressive and surprising for plenty of reasons, but the B’s ability to win it all with a downright pathetic power play was especially unusual. One game is just one game, yet it was tough not to wonder if Boston might need to overcome a miniscule man advantage again in the 2012 playoffs.

As you can see from the play-by-play, the Bruins received just about six consecutive minutes of power play time from the end of the first period and beginning of the second only to come up empty. Boston also failed to score a PP goal in a 4-on-3 situation, which can often be one of the most lucrative scoring chances in the sport because of the natural spacing nightmares that can occur with all that open ice.

Surely those middle frame-heavy power plays partially explain the fact that the Bruins took a 17-2 shot advantage in the second period, but it’s still disappointing that Boston went 0-for-4.

Of course, one could argue that Braden Holtby’s great play and the Capitals’ shot blocking penalty kill played just a big a factor as any perceived ineptitude. That’s why it’s dangerous to weight one game too heavily.

The Bruins converted 43 out of 250 power play opportunities during the regulation season, with a 17.2 efficiency rate that ranked them smack-dab in the middle of league at 15th overall. Such numbers indicate that Boston’s man advantage probably won’t be a huge part of whatever success it has in the playoffs, but striking more often on huge opportunities like the ones they had last night would make things a lot easier.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?