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Midseason Grades: Special Teams

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These guys, you guys.  They're the reason.
These guys, you guys. They're the reason.
Rich Lam

The Bruins spend the 9th-most time 5v5 in the league in a given game. 48.0 out of every 60 minutes of gametime are as we like it, 5 on 5, just as intended by the Brotherhood Against Rovers, or whoever it is that decided to drop the 6th skater. I don't think that was an Art Ross idea, so I don't automatically like it. Anyhow, the other 12.0 minutes per game are spent on some combination of 5v4, 5v3, 4v3, 4v4, 3v3, 4v5, 3v5, 3v4, and possibly a few more. Collectively, "special teams." Let's see just how special they are at the midpoint(ish) of the season:

Powerplay

The first problem the powerplay has is that it doesn't get many chances. Only one team (Anaheim) has fewer powerplay opportunities than the Bruins, and Anaheim makes it count - they're the only team with a higher PP% than Pittsburgh. So, despite Milan Lucic, Esq.'s best arguments, the Bruins really don't get many chances. What do they do with that time? Well, PP% doesn't look good - %15.85 lands them at 21st. But it's the year 2013. Lets look closer.

5v4

Bruins have spent 135:23 this season 5v4. That works out to just under 5 minutes/game or so of 5v4 time.

5v3

The Bruins have spent a grand total of 0:51 on the 5v3, split over 2 occurences. They didn't score on either, but they also didn't get scored on in either, so that's something I guess.

4v3

6 seconds of this total so far, no goals. Not gonna worry about it.

Splits

One interesting thing is that while the Bruins are putrid on the powerplay at home (9.8% success), they are dominant on the road. In situations where they actually end up on the powerplay on the road, they ride at a 4th-best 23%. Yeah, they're more than twice as good on the road than at home.

Keep yelling SHOOOOOT, buddy. You're a big help.

Final Powerplay Grade: C-

Penalty Kill

We've had a damn good penalty kill for a long time and that hasn't changed. The Bruins are currently the only team with an above-90% penalty kill percentage. They're damn good at it. They also don't give the other team a whole lot of chances, with a just-below-league-average 103 PPOA. However, because they're so good at the Penalty Kill, they're in the top 6 of teams in terms of time killing penalties. That's great, is what it is. The more penalties that expire sans goal, the better off we are. Come back Pebben I love you.

Final Penalty Kill Grade: A+++++ would take penalties again

So there you have it. No big surprises here. The PP is middling-at-best, the PK is best-in-the-league, and we're blessed by the Chara/Bergeron excellence. (they're the only 2 guys who average over 2 minutes/game in both PP and PK and it's for a reason).