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.
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.
The Bruins seem to have found their stride as the first half of the season has come and gone and as a team hanging around the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, their current five-game winning streak could not have come at a better time. Over the last couple of weeks, the B’s have extended some recent dominance over a couple different opponents, seen their prized rookie do something not many Bruins’ teenagers have, outshot an opponent by more than they have in almost five years, fired the fewest shots on goal they have had in a period this season, had a couple centermen hit a milestone on the same night and rattled off a season-high point streak. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
David Pastrnak has come on in a big way over the last few games and is in Boston to stay.
1: Former Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin made his first start against Boston as his Hurricanes came away with the 2-1 shootout win on Jan. 4 in Raleigh.
1: David Pastrnak scored his first NHL goal – first two actually – in the 3-1 win over the Flyers on Jan. 10. He is the youngest NHL player to appear in a game this season.
1: In the same game, the Bruins won for the first time this season when Zdeno Chara committed a penalty (1-5-3). They then improved to 2-5-3 in their next game against Tampa Bay.
1: Patrice Bergeron was selected as the Bruins’ lone representative to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
Unlike in seasons past, the Bruins have led fans on an up-and-down ride so far in 2014-15. Just when they are able to string a couple of strong wins against quality teams together, it seems they are followed with a shootout defeat and then a 6-2 loss. As the calendar turns to 2015, the Black and Gold will certainly need to find that element of consistency that has been eluding them this season, but for now, let’s take a look at the numbers from the last couple of weeks. They include a season high in shots on goal, a look at the goal output with and without one of the team’s best players, a first for one Boston defenseman and everybody on the ice getting into the act against Detroit. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins are glad 2014 is over and know they need to battle to make up ground.
0: The fourth line of Matt Fraser, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille combined for zero shots on goal on Dec. 21 against Buffalo. They were the only Boston forwards to be held without a shot on net.
1: Matt Bartkowski picked up his first career fighting major on Dec. 21 in the 4-3 overtime win over the Sabres as he dropped the gloves with Buffalo’s Marcus Foligno after No. 43 laid a questionable hit on Brian Gionta for which he was given a game misconduct.
1: The Bruins are now 1-0-0 in Sunday games this season after their win over Buffalo.
The Bruins appear to be on their way back to full strength with the return of some of their core players from injury and as rumors continue to swirl about them landing some big names, their play has been improving over their last couple games despite the results not being there. During the last couple of weeks, they have seen a rematch of the 2013 Cup Finals, the first goal for a rookie winger, a dominating performance in the face off circle and a milestone goal for the Little Ball of Hate despite averaging a 10th-worst 2.42 goals per game this season. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins have certainly struggled to score goals over the last few weeks, but they are starting to get some key guys back from injury.
1: Craig Cunningham scored his first NHL goal against the Senators on Dec. 13 in his seventh career game – a shorthanded goal that put the Bruins up, 1-0. It was the third shorty the Bruins have scored this season: David Krejci on Oct. 21 and Gregory Campbell on Oct. 25.
1: Niklas Svedberg became the first Bruins goalie to require overtime in four of his first five career wins, according to Elias. Three have come this year against Buffalo, Columbus and Minnesota as well as his first career win on Jan. 2 of last season against the Predators.
1: The Bruins have given up just one power-play goal in their last 15 games dating back to Nov. 15.