Not scoring on the PP is one thing. Having the momentum being sucked out from underneath them after every one of their completely ineffective power plays is a whole other ball of wax. If they are able to get past Tampa with Claude continuing to not make changes on the PP, I cannot believe their lack of PP success will not cost them dearly if they were to make the Stanley Cup Finals.
A major part of the Bruins lack of success on the power play is their inability to gain entry into the offensive zone with puck possession or to gain puck possession after one of their patented hard dumps with no purpose around the boards. How many power plays have the Bruins had where it takes them a minute or more just to get possession of the puck in the offensive zone on the power play. Percentage wise I'm saying this has happened at least 70% of the time on the power play.
The other major problem with the power play is the fact that once they gain they zone and obtain puck possession far to often they lose battles on the half boards, shots from the point are getting blocked and most importantly hardly any of the players are moving out there. The forwards stay stationary and the opposing defense collapses into the slot waiting for the inevitable one-timer from the point that doesn't even get through the wall of bodies 80% or more of the time.
How do the Bruins change this? Well continuing to go with the exact same set of players and approach isn't going to work yet Claude keeps on keeping on. Recci, Lucic, Chara and Ferrence all need to be moved off the power play ASAP.
Recci- Can't skate the puck with possession into the zone. Not winning battles up front. No speed or enough offensive creativity to open lanes on the power play. Was a force in front of the net on the PP (10 years ago).
Lucic- Losing 90% of the puck battles along the boards. He's been a turn over machine. Not going to the net with enough consistency. Not enough skating or passing ability to create open lanes on the power play. If he's not a net front and or board presence (which he has not been) he's useless on the power play.
Ferrence- Better than average skater and a decent passer. Average shot (bad accuracy). Poor offensive hockey sense. Makes bad decisions with puck far too often in the offensive zone on the PP. Even though a decent skater he cannot carry the puck with possession into the offensive zone mostly because of the decisions and angles his making and taking.
Chara- Booming shot. Liability carry the puck up the ice. Can't carry the puck with possession into the zone. Not enough skill to hold puck in and make plays at the point consistently. Basically other than a booming shot that rarely hits the net Chara is a liability on the power play. However he could help the PP in another way.
Any changes to the personal on the PP should start with putting guys out there with speed, puck skills and offensive creativity. Each PP unit should have at least one guy on the back line with either a booming and or accurate shot from the point. And other guy on the back line that has at least an average shot and play making ability. The forwards on the PP units should have a center that can win draws and make plays. A wing that has speed and or offensive creativity. And another guy playing the wing that creates traffic and screens in front of the net.
Suggested PP Changes: PP1
Both Bergeron and Seidenberg can skate with the puck with possession, get their shots on or at net consistently and both have enough offensive creativity and good enough board play to serve as points on the PP.
Krejci is the playmaking / draw winning center, Horton is the net front presence and Seguin has the quick release, speed, accurate/hard shot and a ton of playmaking ability.
PP Unit 2
Marchand - Peverly - Chara (if you don't like Chara replace with Ryder)
Kaberle - Boychuck
Kaberle has the passing ability and puck possession skills to effectively carry the puck into the zone with possession and to make plays once in there. Boychuck provides an offensive skill and the cannon of a shot to be an effective second pairing d-man on the PP
Marchand is one of the fastest and most creative forwards the Bruins have had all year. His skills belongs on at least the 2nd power play unit. Peverly is creative, has a nose for the net and more than enough offensive skill to center the Bruins 2nd PP unit. Chara is a liability on the back end on the PP for the reasons I've already mentioned above. However his size alone can create a net front presence that would create havoc for Roloson and he has enough ability to control the puck on the half wall to play wing. With Kaberle on the point and speedsters like Marchand and Peverly out there with Chara, his job will only be to get to the net anyway. If you balk at Chara at forward on the PP than just put Ryder on the other wing. He has the plus shot and has shown he can bury it on the power play. But he makes a lot of bad decisions with the puck on the PP for whatever reason and he is mind boggling inconsistent. I'd rather have Chara out there parked in front of the net causing havoc and opening up the ice for everyone else on the PP he's playing with.
Or Claude can keep putting out the same players, going with the same approach and expecting things to change. You know one definition of insanity is expecting different results even after doing the same thing over and again. I think it's fairly well proven at this point that if the Bruins power play stays structured as it currently is we are going to keep seeing the same results (no scoring at worst and momentum sucking out from underneath them at best after another dreadful PP).
Time to change things up Claude! If the changes don't work at least no one can continue of accusing you of not trying to make adjustments.