Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Power play still lacks punch
By James Murphy
MONTREAL -- The Bruins may have been unhappy with some of the calls that went against them in their 2-1 loss to the Canadiens in Game 6, but they weren’t pinning the blame on the referees for failing to close out the series.
The Bruins are 0-for-19 on the power play in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series and remain one of two teams (along with Pittsburgh) that hasn't lit the lamp on the man advantage. They know their struggles on the power play (0-for-4) were the difference in Game 6 and a major reason they’re not packing their bags for Philadelphia and a rematch with the Flyers.
“It’s a big issue right now and it’s something we've got to bear down on and find a way,” Patrice Bergeron said. “They won the game because of that.”
Despite opportunities, the Bruins had trouble getting the puck past Habs goaltender Carey Price, who had 31 saves Tuesday night.
“We had opportunities, but it wasn’t good enough on our end,” Mark Recchi said. “Five-on-five we were terrific, but they got a couple of five-on-three goals.
"It’s a big one tomorrow. We’ll go get some rest and we’ll be ready. If we play like that five-on-five and get our power play going, get some opportunities, we've got to be a lot better than that."
"Our power play is struggling. I think we’ve talked about that every day so far," coach Claude Julien said. "They scored two goals five-on-three. Five-on-four they weren’t a threat and neither were we. Five-on-five I thought we were obviously a team that held most of the control of the game and that’s what we have to do.
"We have to stay disciplined, stay away from the penalty box like we talked about at the beginning of the series. But I would have liked to have a five-on-three, maybe our power play would have scored as well. But it wasn’t the case and again, it’s one of those games where we tried, we worked hard, we had our chances and we weren’t able to bury them. But we're certainly not down or disappointed in our game except for the fact those five-on-threes ended up costing us the game."
Bergeron says the power-play units need to get back to basics and start taking more chances.
“It’s about trying to keep things simple and take what they’re giving us,” Bergeron said. “Have some presence in front and take some shots.”
Recchi agreed and pointed out that the Bruins are hardly spending any time in the offensive zone when they’re on the power play.
“We’re not getting any sustained pressure to top it off and our shots are getting blocked half the time,” Recchi said. “We’re not getting pucks on net and it’s a one-and-out kind of thing. You've got to find your way back in.
"We just have to get better. We have to sustain some pressure and do some things. It hasn’t been good in this series and if we get the opportunity tomorrow, we've got to step up.”