We are 10% into the season, and it is time to take a look at what is going on with the organization.
Heading into today’s games the Boston Bruins are:
- 5th in the division
- 3rd in the East’s wild card race
- 16th in goals for
- 15th in goals against
- -5 in goal differential
- 30th on the pp with 7.1% success rate
- 10th on the PK with an 85.3% success rate
- tied for 5th in faceoff win percentage at 51.7%st
They have used four different goalies, and 22 skaters.
By salary the top forwards without goals are:
- David Krejci $7.25m
- Matt Beleskey $3.8m
- Jimmy Hayes $2.3m
The three together are a minus 18, $13.35m in salary, 56 shifts of hockey a game, and just 33 shots on goal through eight games each.
So what do we know now that we didn’t know September first? We know Brandon Carlo has shown himself to be a pretty solid NHL defenseman in this small sample. We know that Jimmy Hayes and Matt Beleskey on the same line still doesn’t work. We know that despite the extraordinary (for him) trust Julien has put in Carlo and earlier in O’Gara, he’s still not ready to shelve Liles for Morrow or one of the other youngsters in need of ice time. To date, Liles appears to have been the most culpable defenseman on the ice for a greater number of goals against than any other blueliner. Honestly, this is starting to remind me of Hnidy’s second tour through Boston. If Morrow, O’Gara, or Grzelcyk, can’t handle the time in what is clearly a bridge year, they’ll probably never handle it.
Liles plays third pairing minutes, and has averaged less time than Colin Miller this year. His powerplay time could easily be handed out among Krug, Chara, Morrow, or O’Gara who are all left handed shots as well. And as effective as the current powerplay isn’t you can make the argument putting a goalie out their in his place would be more effective. The most dispensable part of his game is his PK time, where the team is doing above average if not well, and even there in the time he was in Boston rookie Rob O’Gara averaged more shorthanded time. I don’t know how much say Julien has over who is on his roster and in the locker room, but for the long term good of the team developing a quality defenseman over allowing an aging veteran to playout their contract should win every time. That’s a call management should make, and should make firmly.
Problems on defense that aren’t quite as bad as I feared coming into the season. Problems at forward that are worse than I feared, and a lack of health and experience in net. Not a compelling total, but this is just 10% of the season.