So whats at the top of the list for Bruins wants, needs and improvements as they ready for golfing season way too soon?
The single-biggest breakdown during the seven-game loss to the Washington Capitals was the offensive department. There wasnt enough finish when it mattered most and there werent enough offensive chances of the quality variety.
It was an eye-opening for a hockey club that thrived through the regular season.
The Bruins went from being the only team in the NHL with six 20-goal scorers on the NHLs second-best offense at 3.17 goals per game during the regular season to a gang that couldnt shoot straight once the playoffs began.
They dropped down an entire goal-per-game in the postseason, and a host of those 20-plus goal-scorers (Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Brad Marchand . . . were looking at you) couldnt even get a sniff.
We obviously didnt score a lot of goals, and you know coming from a team during the regular season that scored. We certainly had a lot of goals. A lot of them were in the front end of the year, but we certainly have the talent skill to score so credit to Washington, said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who will be making the changes necessary this summer. I think defensively we had a good series. I think offensively, we didnt score at the time we had to score and I think that we could have. So I think thats an area well have to improve, I will improve that well figure out as the summer goes on.
Some of our guys didnt perform as we expected. We all have seen Looch do wonderful things with Krejci and statistically they didnt . . . but no one really did. Theyre two really good players and you want more from them. But theyre two really good players and theyve given us some really good things. So well delve into that and see where it takes us.
So what do the Bruins do from here?
It isnt the Achilles-sized weakness the Bruins experienced the season following the dismissal of Phil Kessel to Toronto, but it was an issue that cropped up when the season was at its most paramount.
Nathan Hortons injury was clearly a factor, and the Bruins never truly got back into their proper offensive state of being once he was removed. Rich Peverley is ideally a third line player that gives the Bruins incredible depth as he did during Bostons Stanley Cup run, but he was filling in for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Horton on a line with Krejci and Lucic.
So good health will help the Black and Gold on some level, but what are the bolder and more likely solutions?
There are a couple of things: first hope that wunderkind Tyler Seguin turns into the 35-40 goal sniper theyre eternally in search of after jumping to 29 goals as a sophomore in the league. The 20-year-old has all the goods, but still has to prove he can snake through the toughest team defenses and solve the greatest goaltenders in the world. He started to show it toward the end of the playoff run, but it was too little, too late.
In the end you want to get production. Im sure there are lots of guys that feel that way on this team, said Seguin. Now having a first round of the playoffs under my belt I can take that into my future and my career.