The Boston Bruins have received the second-fewest power play opportunities in the league this year, with 89.
That lack of chances is grinding their gears.
Easy to see why Krug’s annoyed. He’s pretty productive with the man advantage, and leads all B’s defensemen in power play points.
The other frustrating part isn’t just the lack of calls — it’s that Boston has a really good power play, and would probably love to utilize it more. It’s the best in the league, actually, rolling along at a 28.9 percent clip, a far cry from last season (when it finished 17th, at 17.8 percent) or the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign (28th overall, 13.9 percent).
Per the Globe, Boston’s lack of man advantages isn’t anything new:
They finished second to last in 2014-15 with 213, just one more than the Devils.
They were last in 2013-14 and 2012-13, after being No. 26 in 2011-12, their highest finish in the Julien era.
In Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to St. Louis, they went without a single power play opportunity. On four occasions in December, they had just one.
Krug’s remarks were the closest that any of Boston’s players came to complaining about the situation, though. Head coach Claude Julien wisely said “I’m not going to go there” and, moving forward, it’s unlikely many other players or coaches will now take the bait.
Still, some did figure that by adding more speed and better skaters this offseason, Boston’s ability to draw more penalties would increase. That’s yet to be reflected, but we are less than halfway through the regular season.
Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Boston in its first game out of the break. The B’s will host the Sabres on Dec. 26 — the same Sabres team that’s taken the fewest minor penalties in the NHL this year, with 86.