The Bruins have struggled as of late and woke up this morning on the outside looking in on the playoff bubble. One of their biggest flaws has become quite obvious for some time now. In a Bruins system where scoring goals has been a problem this season (team ranks 19th in goals for), the defensemen are heavily relied on to keep pucks out of their own net. One defenseman in particular, who has been a valuable part of the Bruins’ recent Stanley Cup runs, is to blame. After Dennis Seidenberg’s performance Sunday against the Lightning where he was on the ice for four of the five Lightning goals and looks to just be wandering around the defensive end, it is official: he is a liability whenever on the ice for the Bruins.
Six words you don’t hear often: The Bruins win in a shootout.
The Bruins have fought for a playoff spot most of the season and with 13 games remaining, the final playoff spot is theirs to lose. They have been hot lately with both the offense and defense clicking. Ottawa has also been streaking, going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games creeping up to just five points behind Boston with a game in hand.
One Achilles’ heal has been the Bruins’ shootout woes, having gone 3-7 in them this season. Before beating Tampa Bay in a shootout Thursday night, Boston had lost seven straight shootouts. For any team fighting for their playoff lives, the extra point at stake is crucial and just going .500 in shootouts could very well be the difference between a disappointing season and the start of a possible playoff run.
Let’s analyze the Bruins’ shootout shot attempts over their recent drought and look at what they changed to get a win versus Tampa Bay.