There are a lot of words that could be used to describe the 2014-15 season of the Boston Bruins. ‘Successful’ would not be one of them. Coming off of a Presidents’ Trophy a season ago, big things were expected from the Black and Gold, but they never got to showcase their full potential as injuries to several key players derailed their season and now there is only one team from the Garden that is playoff bound. Whether Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli return in 2015 is still up in the air, but the team did announce Monday that it will be parting ways with longtime fourth-liners and unrestricted free agents, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell, as they look to improve in the goal-scoring department for next season. Before we completely turn the page to next year, however, let’s look back at the final two weeks of play, which featured a teenaged rookie setting a Bruins’ record and joining some pretty impressive company in the process, the first NHL goal for one young defenseman, the team’s most shots on goal in two years, a dismal scoreless streak against one playoff-bound team, a woeful piece of all-time history relating to a particular season series and Boston becoming the first team to miss the postseason the year after earning one of the league’s most impressive trophies. For the final time in 2014-15, this is Boston Bruins: Final Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins head off the ice after a disappointing end to the 2014-15 season.
0: The Bruins did not allow the Rangers (this year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners) to have a power-play opportunity in their 4-2 win on March 28. It was the first time since Nov. 10 against the Devils that the Bruins’ opponent did not have a single power play and just the second time this season.
1: Zach Trotman scored his first career NHL goal – the game winner – to beat the Red Wings late in the third period on April 2.
1: The Wings led the Bruins, 1-0, after two periods in that game before the B’s rallied to win with three goals in the third. It marked the first time this season that the Wings lost a game in regulation in which they led after two periods (21-1-4).
.167: The Bruins had a .167 winning percentage this season when Torey Krug committed a penalty – the lowest of any regular player on the team. Zdeno Chara (.214) was the next lowest.
1.85: New York’s Henrik Lundqvist came into the March 28 meeting against Boston with a 1.85 goals-against average in 36 career appearances against the B’s before surrendering four goals in the loss.
One thing is clear: if the Bruins are going to make the playoffs this season, they are going to have to be nearly perfect in their eight remaining games. In the last two weeks, they have fallen out of the playoff picture, missed a chance to sweep the season series from one division rival for the first time ever, surrendered a half dozen goals to another division foe for the first time in almost a decade, got their first shutout in one Eastern city in nearly four decades and still have not scored a goal this year against one team they are chasing. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins have been bumped out of the playoffs, but Tuukka Rask has been far from the problem.
0: The Bruins shut out the Penguins, 2-0, on March 14 and then were shut out by the same score at the hands of the Capitals in their next game the following night. It marked the first time the B’s were involved in shutouts in consecutive games since Nov. 19 and 21, 2011 with 6-0 and 1-0 wins over the Islanders and Canadiens. It was also the first time they won a game via a shutout and then lost their next via a shutout since March 24 and 26, 2010 against the Canadiens and Rangers.
1.35: Ottawa’s Andrew Hammond came into last Thursday’s win over the B’s with a 1.35 goals-against average in 12 starts before surrendering four to Boston.
After a less than stellar February, the Bruins seem to have found their stride again during the first half of March as they have put some separation between themselves and those chasing for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The team has gone 6-0-1 in its last seven games and seen their first shootout goal of the calendar year, one winger accomplishing something not done in 31 years, a rare two-goal game for a member of the fourth line, the special teams doing something they have not done since 2009 and the team opening the scoring in as consistent of a way they have not done since 1990. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
Brad Marchand has been doing his part to help jumpstart the Bruins in the month of March.
0: Carl Soderberg failed to win a face off against the Flyers on Saturday for the first time since Nov. 21.
1: Ryan Spooner scored the first goal of his career on Feb. 27 to give the Bruins their 30th win, 3-2, over the Devils in overtime. It came in his 35th career NHL game.
1: Six nights later, he took the first shootout attempt of his career in the loss to the Flames (0-1).
1: Max Talbot earned his first point as a member of the Bruins with the primary assist on Brad Marchand’s game-winning overtime goal to beat the Flyers, 3-2, on Saturday.
1.20: David Pastrnak is tied for fifth in the league with 1.20 points per game against the Atlantic Division this season (just five games).
2: Daniel Paille recorded goals in consecutive games on Feb. 24 and 27 for the first time since Jan. 4 and 7, 2014.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Bruins and despite only playing five games, there has been a lot going on both on the ice with some quality opponents and off the ice with the trade deadline approaching on Monday. The team returned to Boston after a long, and somewhat miserable, 5-game Western Conference road trip this past Tuesday, but continues to struggle to hang on to the final playoff spot in the East. Just to name a few, the Bruins endured their longest shootout ever and helped to nearly set an NHL shootout record, had two players debut in the same game, scored their most goals in a game this year, saw their coach reach a milestone and one of their leaders reach a couple of his own. We have a lot to get to, so this is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
While the Bruins have faltered pretty mightily in the last couple weeks, Tuukka Rask certainly has not been to blame.
0: Edmonton defenseman Martin Marincin scored the only goal in the 12-round shootout between in Bruins and the Oilers on Feb. 18. He has no goals and just one point in 21 games played this season.
1: St. Louis’ Petteri Lindbohm scored his first career goal against the Bruins in their win on Friday night. It also happened to be the first career goal allowed by Malcolm Subban and, according to Elias, Lindbohm became the first player in Blues’ history to score his first career goal on a goalie who gave up his first career NHL goal. The last time that happened in any NHL game was in 2007.
1: Brian Ferlin recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Gregory Campbell’s goal to put the Bruins up, 4-1, over the Blackhawks on Sunday.
Nobody said it was going to be easy. The Bruins knew this and every day they find themselves fighting to hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have had a rough go of it over the last couple of weeks and things will only get more difficult on their current 5-game Western Conference road trip. During the last two weeks, the Bruins got a rare opportunity to face a different New York goaltender, the Habs accomplished a couple different things not done in quite some time by beating the B’s, Boston suffered its first home regulation loss against one Western Conference team in over a decade and they experienced a first-period outcome not seen since 2008. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
Zdeno Chara gathers his thoughts during the Bruins’ most recent setback to the Canadiens.
1: Gregory Campbell had a plus-1 rating against the Islanders on Jan. 28 and again against the Kings on Jan. 30. It was the first time this season he has had a positive rating in consecutive games. In fact, he had gone 18 consecutive games without having a negative rating before a minus-1 showing Friday in Vancouver with his previous coming on Dec. 27.
1: Vancouver is the only NHL city the Bruins have not won a game in since they claimed the Stanley Cup in 2011, according to Dan Cagen.
2: Brad Marchand’s two goals against L.A. on Jan. 31 gave him his first multi-point game since Dec. 23.
2: Chris Kelly’s goal against the Kings on Jan. 31 was his second game winner of the year, but first since Opening Night.
With the All-Star Break encompassing seven of the last nine days, the Bruins have played just four games in the last two weeks while continuing to jockey for playoff positioning. Aside from Patrice Bergeron, the team’s lone representative in Columbus, the B’s enjoyed their eight days off and look to pick up where they left off to begin the unofficial second half of the season. The last two weeks have included a theme of very late Colorado goals, a milestone point for a Bruins’ centerman and the first NHL brawl for one young defenseman. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
Patrice Bergeron had a very impressive All-Star Game debut for Team Toews.
0.3: Jarome Iginla scored a goal with 0.3 seconds left in the first period to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead on Jan. 21. It was the second straight period the Avs scored a goal with under a second remaining against the Bruins as Daniel Briere scored with 0.4 remaining in the game to win it for them on Oct. 13.
1: Craig Cunningham notched the first career assist (third point) as he recorded the primary helper on Gregory Campbell’s goal in Dallas on Jan. 20 in his 24th career game.
1: David Pastrnak recorded his first NHL penalty (a slash) on Jan. 21 in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche.