The Boston Bruins are currently playing in their fifth consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their first-round opponent is the 2018 Stanley Cup champions, the Washington Capitals. The series is set to be a strong battle between two imposing teams that know everything there is to know come playoff time. On Saturday night, the Bruins didn’t yield a favourable result, with the Capitals stealing the game in a 3-2 overtime win. There was a lot to dissect in the team’s first 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game, so here are three takeaways from the contest at Capital One Arena.
Quantity Instead of Quality in the Shot Department
“Quantity” should be used sparingly in this case. The Bruins put up a reasonable 26 shots in in last night’s contest with only two goals to show for it. This is alarming since the team had multiple 30-plus shot games before coming into the playoffs. It is always expected that teams will get less shots in playoffs due to the increased intensity and quality of play between both teams, but teams must make up for the lack of shots by being effective with the ones they do get on net.
It seems the Bruins didn’t live up to that, with their shots on net seeming half-hearted and with no effort behind them. The result speaks volumes on this point, with the Bruins losing to a 39-year-old Craig Anderson in net as they continued to have trouble getting pucks in behind him. Something needs to change fast in the shot department if winning is desired. Quality over quantity.
Star Players Disappearing Like Houdini
There was one question that many Bruins fans were aching to ask after last night’s outing: “Where are the star players?” Well, they would have every right to ask that question. The star players seemed to be sleeping on the ice yesterday. All three of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Taylor Hall combined for three shots on goal, three blocked shots, and no points whatsoever. It was underwhelming to say the least, to see three players do essentially nothing, when they are always expected to play big roles in the team’s winning efforts.
Maybe it is just the fact that these players need some time to settle into playoff mode. For the well-being of the team, Bruins fans everywhere hope that is the case. However, fans need to cut these stars players some slack, since they did play a big part in getting them to the playoffs to begin with. The only way to go is up from here. Here’s to Bergeron, Marchand, and Hall eventually waking up.
Power Play Without Any Power
The Bruins came into the playoffs with a top-10 power-play percentage. Last night the team went 1-4 in their power plays with a success rate of 25 percent, compared to the Capitals who went 0-1 in their power-play attempts. The Bruins had a total of three more power plays than the Capitals, yet failed to capitalize more efficiently on their abundance of opportunities.
If the Bruins want to make it easier on themselves to advance further in the playoffs, they’re going to need to capitalize better on the power-play opportunities handed to them. There is no doubt that the team can be dangerous on the power play, especially when the star players are on their game. Bruins fans are looking forward to improvements on their power play come Game 2.
Although these three takeaways from the game seem to be negative, it is an honest look at what happened last night. There were some good moments in last night’s game, but they were outshined by the negative moments. Bruins fans just want to see their team succeed, and what’s better than a bit of tough love for one of the notoriously toughest teams in all of NHL history. What’s your take on last night’s game?