It is no big secret that the Boston Bruins are one of the best defensive teams in the NHL. In the 2012-13 campaign, they claimed the leagues third best Goals Against Average, allowing only 2.21goals per game. After completely dismantling the Pittsburg Penguins scoring machine in the Eastern Conference Finals, it ultimately took the formation of a high-flying Chicago Blackhawks super line to slay The Bear in 6 Games.
On October 6th, the Chatham area's Wicked Local community news site posted an excellent article analyzing the integration of newcomer Loui Eriksson into the Boston Bruin's system. In this article, readers were introduced to the possible provocation that a perennial 70-point player, like Eriksson, after having his wings clipped by a rigid philosophy, may ultimately be transformed into something far less productive. This notion, of course, is also applicable to superstar goal scorer Jarome Iginla.
Is it then possible to say that the system, which proves so lethal to teams around the league, is also detrimental to the productivity of the Bruins offense as well?
This idea is not one that is uncommon in Boston. The Bruins have not had a 40-goal scorer in 10 years. Of the Bruins players returning from last season, none have the tendency to top 80 points in a season.
Though the potential for breakout scoring has been there with players like Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel, there seems to be an air that players must incontestably conform to the system rather than tailoring parts of the system around different styles of play.
This was more than likely one of the chief contributors to the dramatic 2013 production dip of Jaromir Jagr, who at his age is still capable of a 60 point season. Jagr, who was shooting 16% in Dallas with 0.41 goals-per-game, dropped to 7% shooting with only 0.18 goals-per-game in Boston.
In a case, like Eriksson, where fans are expecting some pizzaz, and a boost in scoring, is it more realistic to classify Eriksson as an average, 60-point scorer moving forward? Or, should Claude Julien allow a speedy overload player to play with tendencies that could lead to more goal production?
In 2012-13, the Bruins ranked 14th in NHL scoring with an average 2.61 goals for. There are some that argue that without a significant boost to offensive productivity, the Bruins will never be able to consistently overcome other NHL offensive powerhouses like Pittsburg and Chicago.
**The Bruins are currently ranked 2nd in the league with a 1.00 Goals Against Average and 9th in the league with a 3.5 Goals For Average.