PHILADELPHIA -- Prior to Game 1 of his team's Eastern Conference semifinal series, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien said he had no comment when asked about the B's struggling power play.
The coach said he only wanted to talk about positive aspects of Boston’s game.
Well, the Bruins went 0-for-5 on the power play against the Flyers (though they won 7-3) and are now 0-for-26 in the Stanley Cup playoffs in that category.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said after Sunday’s practice that he saw some improvements on the power play, but Julien was a little less positive when asked about it.
“No results,” Julien said. “I thought there were a few things that were better and hopefully it continues. We need it going and I know right now, when your power play isn’t going, your PK has to be really good and it has been.”
Julien said his power-play units are tense and the players aren’t making the right choices with the puck.
“You hope it’s going to come and I have a feeling it will. Hopefully sooner than later,” Julien said.
No doubt the power play has become a sore subject in the Bruins’ room.
“We’re trying,” Chara said. “We’re trying to get better and we’re still working on it.”
A major reason the Bruins’ power play has been suspect for the majority of the season is the absence of forward and top playmaker Marc Savard. He missed the first 23 games of the season because of post-concussion syndrome and has been out since suffering his second head injury in late January.
Without Savard's presence on the power play, the Bruins haven’t been able to adjust. Julien said he’s been texting with Savard both on a personal and professional level as the injured player is back home in Ontario.
Julien joked that he had been waiting for Savard to offer his two cents about the power play, and once the coach asked, it was all over.
“As soon as I opened that door, he took advantage of it,” Julien said with a laugh. “I’ve gotten a few tips from him.”
Savard has 80 career goals on the power play, including 29 with the Bruins.
“Marc Savard was a real big asset for us in that area. He was a guy who did such a good job on the power play and we definitely miss him there," Julien said. "That’s not a big secret. The way he was just poised and moved the puck, and he certainly created some awareness for the other team because they knew how dangerous he was.
“We lost that part when we lost Marc Savard. It’s not a part that's easily replaceable, and somehow we’ve got to find a way to improve our power play without Marc Savard. It’s been a challenge.”
Since suffering a severe concussion in March 2010, Savard has never been the same. Even when he returned to the lineup in December of this season, he seemed a step behind and did not produce a power-play goal.
“I still remember the first few years I had him, you couldn’t have asked for a better power play guy,” Julien said. “When you lose a guy like that, you’re losing a real good player and a real big piece of your power play.”