If there's been one thing that's been a sticking point for Bruins fans over the last few seasons, it's the been the power play, or the lack of one. It's especially noticeable in the playoffs where the struggles are magnified.
In the last five years, the highest power play percentage for the Bruins was 23.6 percent during the 2008-2009 season. That season was the only time the power play has been ranked in the top five or even top 10. The other four seasons it was ranked 15th, 20th, 23rd, and 16th. Not really striking fear into their opponents.
But there is the possibility and hope that things could change this season. The Bruins spent the beginning part of practice today working on the power play and it appears that Claude Julien has his two units. The first consists of Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci. The other unit is composed of Chris Bourque, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg, and Dougie Hamilton.
These new looks come after the Bruins went 2-for-23 in their first round playoff loss to the Washington Capitals last year.
"David sees the ice very weel and I know he's very comfortable on the right side, and with Zdeno as a pair I think they can do a great job," Julie told the Boston Herald's Steve Conroy. "You've got two big bodies, one that's a great shot from the slot with Horts and another big body in front of the net with Looch and you've got probably the quarterback in (Seguin). He's got the skill and a great one-timer, so we thought that five-man unit would give us a pretty decent pow play as well. I thought the other one was equally as good. So I think we've got some personnel in some places this year that we feel will give us a little bit more."
But these units are set in stone. Expect the likes of Rich Peverely, Gregory Campbell, and even Johnny Boychuk to get some looks on the power play.
The additions of Hamilton and Bourque will definitely help the Bruins' power play percentage. Hamilton is the offensive minded defenseman that Bruins fans have been craving for years now.
"He looked good," Bergeron said of Hamilton. "He seems to be pretty poised with the puck and he's making the right play. He's a good player, very smart and he doesn't look like he's 19 out there."
His offensive touch is one of the reasons that Bourque is at training camp right now.
"I really like what he's done for us down in Providence, and the vision that he's got," Julie told CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty. "So we're really giving him an opportunity to see if he can blend in with [Peverely and Kelly]. Right now it's an opportunity that's been given and hopefully he takes advantage of it."
Bourque had 28 points in 32 games with the Providence Bruins. Here's hoping that he can translate that into helping improve the Bruins power play.
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