The Boston Bruins, when they’ve been at their best in recent seasons, have been one of the top defensive teams in the NHL.
Everyone knows that. (Lest we forget Claude Julien’s beloved “layers,” and how those layers helped the B’s stifle the high-scoring Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 playoffs and the high-scoring Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.)
What occasionally gets forgotten, however, is that the Bruins have been a pretty high-scoring team themselves. In that 2010-11 championship year, Boston finished the regular season with the NHL’s fifth-ranked offense. The B’s finished third in the league last season, averaging 3.15 goals per game.
Hence, the growing concern about the state of the current team, which ranks 22nd in offense, averaging just 2.41 goals per game.
While injuries to David Krejci and Zdeno Chara are surely to blame for some of the Bruins’ scoring woes, that’s not stopping the rumor mill from churning. The latest speculation involves a possible deal with the Edmonton Oilers for winger Jordan Eberle.
According to CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, it’s believed that Eberle has “always been the desired top line target for the Black and Gold,” even if it didn’t sound today like the Oilers were on the verge of making a big trade.
Well, the salary cap-limited Bruins did not, if you’ll recall, bring in a replacement for departed winger Jarome Iginla this offseason, opting instead to hope Loui Eriksson could be “better than he was last year.”
And how’s Eriksson done?
Well, he has just three goals in 27 games, so…yeah.
Consider also: Boston’s leading goal-scorers are Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith, each with six. Currently, there are 92 players in the NHL with more than six goals.
The Bruins lost their third straight last night, falling 7-4 to the San Jose Sharks in a game where, let’s be honest, the offense was the least of their problems. But before that they were shut out by the Kings, 2-0, marking the third time this season that they’d been blanked.
Boston is in Arizona Saturday to play the Coyotes.
Related: (Video) PHT Extra: Why Bruins fans should be worried