Bruins missing out on good scoring chances

Bruins missing out on good scoring chances
April 29, 2013, 1:45 pm
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The Bruins are anticipating the start to their series against the Penguins.

(AP Images)

BOSTON -- The Bruins dominated for long stretches of Sunday night’s tilt with the Senators, and they carried the play for the entire second period while out-shooting the Sens by a 16-9 margin.

But once again, finishing off offensive plays and finding the range was a problem for a group of Bruins players that finished 13th in the league with 2.6 goals per game.

The Bruins only scored one goal in that second period, and eventually fell by a 4-2 score in the in a game they needed to win for the Northeast Division crown. 

There were some positive developments, though, and certainly the Bruins have been playing closer to their identity over the last couple of weeks.

“We’ve been playing pretty well for the last few weeks. We haven’t gotten the results that we wanted, and it is all about results,” said Shawn Thornton. “But if we start putting some pucks in the net it’s definitely . . . everyone’s excited to get going. It’s a fresh start. It’s a new season. It’s exciting. It’s the best time of the year.”

What’s not exciting is a continuing trend by the Bruins of missing the net with some of their best scoring chances.

The Bruins counted five scoring chances Saturday night against the Washington Capitals that  missed the intended target between the pipes. One of those high-and-wide misses by Tyler Seguin led directly to Ottawa’s second goal of the game.

“It’s pretty simple. You’ve got to get your nose a little dirtier, and you’ve got to have the confidence to shoot. [Saturday night] we had five scoring chances off-net. If you don’t hit the net, you don’t score,” said Claude Julien. “We have to hit the net. You saw it again tonight, great shot from [Dennis] Seidenberg, not on the goal . . . another one in the second period, Tyler Seguin, rifling one over the net, and then guys are changing."

“If you don’t hit the net on those great opportunities, you don’t score. At the same time, we all know that teams that want to get their nose dirty, in front of the net, during the playoffs, they’re going to get rewarded. We have the guys that have the ability to do that, and now we’ve got get them to do it.”

In other words, hit the net with your shots and stop making every NHL goaltender look like the second coming of Ken Dryden. It sounds pretty simple, but it’s eluding a Bruins team that’s scored just 18 goals in their final nine games heading into the playoffs.

On the second period play reference by Julien, Seguin was rushing down the right wing when his misfire rimmed around the boards and started an Ottawa rush down to the other end of the ice.

Kaspars Daugavins lost his stick in the ensuing scramble in the D-zone, and that resulted in a Jared Cowen one-timer from the high point that eluded Tuukka Rask, who didn't have his stick. The missed-shot-into-Ottawa-goal was a big turning point in the game and forced the Bruins into an uphill battle to tie things up.

Eventually the Bruins did just that, but they never led.