One can throw around a lot of different words to describe the Boston Bruins’ bumpy start to the season. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty uses perhaps the most provocative one: soft.
The word appears in his column six different times.
Haggerty writes that “you can call the Bruins a mostly soft hockey team and you wouldn’t be wrong on most nights.” He calls out the play of specific combinations like the Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith line and even has this to say about Boston’s defense:
Their defense is almost the Black and Gold version of a Twinkie: looks pretty good on the outside but has a soft, cream filling in the middle that’s pretty unhealthy.
Here’s video from Haggerty and CSNNE.com:
Many will point out that hits are a stat that aren’t always compiled consistently, yet it’s interesting to note that the Bruins have delivered 389 hits and received 443 so far this season, the eighth worst “hit percentage” so far in 2014-15. The Bruins were in the middle of the pack in this somewhat random stat in 2013-14.
That could be a troubling sign … or it could indicate that the Bruins have possessed the puck more often than not, opening the door to receive more hits (they’re ranked ninth in Fenwick stats, for what it’s worth).
Is this perceived drop in physicality something the Bruins should be concerned about? Milan Lucic told CSNNE.com that they could probably increase the intensity a bit.
“We’re a team that thrives on playing with emotion, and maybe we needed to play with a little more emotion, and a little more bang,” Lucic said. “It wasn’t there [against Montreal]. You can talk about scoring only two goals in two games, but the reason we’ve only scored two goals is because we’re not taking care of things in the defensive zone.”
The Bruins get a chance to assert themselves in a home game against the Carolina Hurricanes this afternoon.