Bruins’ power play might be a weakness again

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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.