By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277
The NHL postseason is rapidly approaching, and the Boston Bruins, under the leadership of head coach Jim Montgomery, must improve their power play if they hope to make a deep run in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Despite leading the league in most categories from day one, the Bruins power play has been inconsistent and ineffective at times this season. It is up to Montgomery to right the ship and get his team ready for a long playoff push, particularly on the man advantage.
Power plays are an integral part of any hockey game plan, especially during the playoffs, where every goal counts and can often be the difference between winning and losing a game. When executed properly, they create scoring chances that lead to goals that give teams an advantage over their opponents. Unfortunately for the Bruins, their power play has struggled throughout the season under Montgomery and the coaching staff’s guidance.
A major reason for this struggle is that their current system isn’t efficient enough at creating scoring opportunities. The players often look disorganized when executing plays as they have trouble finding open men in higher danger areas due to a lack of positional awareness on the defensemen’s part. This leads to easy clearings from their opponents or unnecessary penalties, which kills momentum and wastes valuable time on the clock.
For Montgomery to rejuvenate the Bruins’ power play before the postseason begins, he must implement strategies to ensure his team creates better scoring chances without sacrificing discipline on offense or defense. His goal should be simplicity, as complicated plays lead to confusion and chaos on both sides of the ice. He should also look into utilizing personnel with higher-end speed and skill, as it would maximize their potential when attempting set plays or breakouts from neutral zones.
With 11 games remaining in the 2022-23 regular season, there is certainly enough time to get a consistent power play, but gaining chemistry with load management coming down the stretch may be a more challenging task moving forward. The Bruins own the top spot in the NHL with a 55-11-5 record after 71 games played this season, good enough for 115 points. The B’s currently sit in 12th place with a 22.0% effectiveness on the power play, while on the other side of the special team’s coin, they have a league-leading 85.4% penalty-killing ratio.
The B’s have a 15-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes, who have a game-in-hand, and a 17-point lead over the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference. With this gap in regular season points, I’d expect in the next five games; this roster will have a different look. It will be time to start resting the current core and insert players who are on two-way contracts from Providence to get some NHL action for that “load management” scenario and to say thanks by giving opportunities for grinding it out with the Bruins top minor-pro affiliate in the American Hockey League.
It may sound like an impossible task, but Montgomery still has time before the playoffs begin in April -If he can manage to implement these strategies into his team’s roster successfully, then there is no doubt that he can lift them back up to be ready for the grind of a 2023 postseason. As always, when it comes down to the playoffs, consistency is key to long-term success – If Jim Montgomery can manage to keep both sides of his special team’s on a consistent approach in his team’s remaining games, then there is no limit to how far they can go to complete the season goal of winning the organizations seventh Stanley Cup.
Great read Mark. Thanks for posting.
I appreciate the kind words, Anthony. Thanks for taking a few minutes to check it out,good Sir!