Despite a third period meltdown in Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators, the Boston Bruins have finally been fore-checking harder to create goal-scoring opportunities, while minimizing the opposition from scoring.
However, Brad Marchand and captain Zdeno Chara continue to be quiet and unenergetic not only offensively, but also in both ends of the ice. Yes, Marchand scored the second Bruin goal against the Senators. The thing is, that was his only goal, yet alone point, within the three games of the week. The issue is that Marchand has been reluctant in shooting on net. In the past five games, he has only released 12 shots on net. That means he is only shooting the puck about two times in a 20-minute, three-period game – which is extremely weak. Patrice Bergeron has two times more goals than him because, in the 19 games so far, he has shot the puck 58 times on net, while Marchand has shot 30 times on net. A wise Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of shots you don’t take.” True, you should think before you shoot, but too much thinking restricts one from shooting, thus no goal opportunities.
As for Chara, the 6-foot-9 giant on skates has failed to bring the tenacity and passion he has brought in past years. Against the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets, he only got one shot on net. Granted we came out on top of both those games, his lack of shooting limits rebounds on power plays that could solidify games before having to head into overtimes. Sure, he is a defenseman and should focus on protecting the defensive zone, but that has not halted other defenseman. Torey Krug, for example, is tied in second in goals (6) for the team. He also has six assists, totaling for 12 points – the third highest on the team. Krug also has ripped off 44 shots on net for an impressive 13.6% shooting percentage. Do not get me wrong, Chara has been known for firing countless shots on net, yet he has only released six on net in the past three games.
On the plus side, both Chara and Marchand have increased their plus/minus in recent games, proving their efforts are increasing.
Hopefully the slump they both seem to be facing wears off before Monday night. The Bruins head south to North Carolina to face the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:00p.m. EST.