A major area of concern for the Bruins so far this season has been their special teams play. Last season the B's prided themselves on their special teams, finishing the season 4th in the NHL on the powerplay (23.6%) and 12th on the PK (82.4%). But that was then. This is now. The Bruins are a dismal 13.8% on the powerplay (25th in the NHL) and 69.2% on the penalty kill (24th).
The B's have not converted with the man advantage in their last 17 attempts dating back to the Carolina Hurricanes game on October 3rd. Besides the 4 powerplay goals that the Bruins scored in that Carolina game, they have not scored another power play goal this season (4 for 29 on PP). The B's have also given up 2 shorthanded goals (the most in the NHL).
Things are not much better on the penalty kill, which is ordinarily a prenenial strong point for Boston Bruins teams. So far this season, the Bruins have given up a league worst 8 power play goals. Over the last three games, the Bruins opponents are 4 for 10 with the man advantage.
Although special teams play is a big concern for the Bruins, head coach Claude Julien believes that his team needs work in other areas as well. When asked after yesterday's game about fixing the Bruins' special teams play, Julien said "It would help, but I don‟t think it would fix everything. The way we're giving up goals, it's not just on the penalty kill. It‟s on the five-on-five. It's unfortunate because we're not playing well on a consistent basis". The coach went on to say, "There are situations or times in a game when you see your team working hard and creating chances, and you see the "old team" of before. Then, all of the sudden, you shoot yourself in the foot with some bad penalties or some bad decisions. Somewhere down the road, you've got to get things straightened out in your head."
Hopefully the B's can will get things straightened out in their heads and look like the "old team" when they travel to Dallas to take on the Stars on Friday night.