For anyone that watches the Bruins on a consistent basis, you certainly know that Patrice Bergeron is arguably the best Bruins penalty killer. The loss of Bergeron will certainly help what is already a dangerous Lightning power play.
In the 11 games Tampa Bay has played thus far in the postseason they are 12-45 with the extra attacker. That mark is good for an impressive 26.7 percent, the highest percentage of the five remaining teams left in the race for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Of the 12 power play goals scored by the Lightning this postseason, seven have come from Tampa’s “big three” of Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and Vinny Lecavalier. Don’t count out defenseman Marc Andre-Bergeron who is another great power play guy for the Bolts.
Bergeron is fourth in shorthanded time on ice among all Bruins forwards, trailing Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly, and Rich Peverley. Bergeron has 12 penalty minutes, 10 minutes more than Campbell and Kelly, and eight more than Peverley. So it’s safe to say without the extra penalty minutes, Bergeron would top that list for the Bruins.
The Bruins have played 11 games as well this postseason and have allowed eight power play goals in 41 opportunities. The 80.5 penalty kill percentage the Bruins have is only better than the Detroit Red Wings when it comes to teams still alive in the postseason.
Of the eight power play goals scored against the Bruins, Bergeron was in the penalty box for three of them, for the Bruins and their fans, that’s a scary number.
With Bergeron out for at least the first two games, Claude Julien is looking for someone to replace No. 37 on the penalty kill; David Krejci and Mark Recchi are two of his options.
“Yeah there is no doubt David Krejci has been a pretty good penalty killer and obviously we have tried to, since we have a lot of penalty killers, tried to save him more for the offensive side of our game. We are able to come back with him after killing a penalty, his line has been coming out, stuff like that. So you have to use David on the penalty kill and that’s things you have to adjust with. And Mark Recchi has been able to bail us out too in regards to that. So we are going to have to utilize certain guys.” said Julien.
Don’t rule out seeing top penalty killers like Campbell and Daniel Pallie getting some extra shorthanded time.
“And depending on how many penalties we get too, [Daniel] Paille, [Gregory] Campbell can almost, when I say double shift, start it, get a rest and go back out there again. And maybe do a little bit more of it. So we are going to try to utilize our personnel as best we can in regards to that, make sure the penalty kill stays good, but at the same time, I think we want to make sure we have players doing the job and doing it properly.” added Julien
Regardless of who is out there, the Bruins need to minimize the success of the Lightning power play. If the Bruins plan on playing for the Stanley Cup the penalty kill has to step up against a powerful Lightning power play, with or without Bergeron.