Here’s what we know: the Boston Bruins have received easily the least amount of power-play opportunities so far with 88, 14 less than the Montreal Canadiens’ 102 (and the Habs have a game in hand).
It’s not as if the Bruins are not going to the penalty box themselves, either, as their 117 times shorthanded ranks higher than nine other teams.
Overall, that’s 29 more times killing power plays than receiving one, which isn’t the greatest trend in just 38 games of action.
What we don’t know is why this is happening.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien seemed pretty frustrated with the issue, for one, as he told CSNNE.com on Thursday.
“Welcome to, again, the same questions every game. I think it was a trip [on Marchand], I think it was pretty obvious to everybody,” Julien said. “It’s getting frustrating to say the least. You see a lot of things out there, or even the hook. I gotta look at it again – on Lucic trying to go to the net there in the second period. We’re not getting the benefit of the doubt, that’s for sure.”
Is it a matter of style of play or reputation? That’s unclear, but this disparity doesn’t seem that out of order. The Bruins received the fewest power-play opportunities in 2013-14 (230, nine fewer than the Nashville Predators) and 2012-13 (122, 13 fewer than the Anaheim Ducks), as well.
Those stats were lower on the radar when Boston was in the upper ranks for the East, but with the margin for error being much smaller this season, it’s a more prevalent concern.
It’s tough to say what, exactly, the Bruins can do about this. Sometimes merely “lobbying” officials makes a difference, though.