I’m going to try and do my best to lay out the stats after road trips/home stands and give a little analysis about what we witnessed.
The Bruins finished their three game road trip with a 1-2-0 record with a 6-2 win over Arizona, a 6-3 loss against Colorado and finishing the week with a 3-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. It wasn’t a great road trip overall, but there are a couple positives that you can take away from it. Okay, maybe one positive?
The Bruins put up 74 shots on this three game road trip and while out-shot by their opponents, the Bruins shot at a 13% clip (11 goals/73 shots). That’s higher than their season average of 10.3% when you look at their shots per game (27) multiplied by games (5) and divided by the total amount of goals (14).
Everything else is not good.
The Bruins are averaging 23.6 shots per game (74 shots over 3 games) which is lower than their 30th ranked, season average of 27 shots per game. The positive to take away here is while the Bruins are taking less shots, more are going in. Looking at shot totals is a slippery slope. Does it matter if a team averages 30+ shots per game? Well, no, if you’re taking good shots. If you’re taking poor wristers or slapshots from the blueline, they’re useless.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the defense has been atrocious as well.
Looking at a shooting prospective, Boston allowed 93 shots over the three game road trip. Their opponents scored 12 goals which means they shot at a 12.9% clip against them. So Boston is allowing 31.3 shots per game and since their opponents are shooting at the same rate they are, they’re allowing four goals a game.
Four goals a game.
That’s incredibly bad and it looks worse when you look at Rask’s numbers.
Before I do that, I don’t want you to take this as a “shitting on Tuukka Rask” moment. I still believe that until Anton Khudobin faces a real hockey team and not the winless wonders in Arizona, Rask is your guy. Khudobin still have to prove it to me. If you watched the game on Saturday night, Arizona would have a tough time against Coach Reilly’s Hawks.
Arizona is not an NHL team worth a damn.
So Rask played in two games on this road trip against Colorado (4th in the Western Conference) and Vegas (3rd in the Western Conference) and came out on the end of those with losses. His save percentage for his road trip was .885 and his goals against average was 3.63.
Not a good look for the Bruins #1 guy.
The only thing the road trip has shown to Bruins fans is that the Bruins look like a team destined to be on the outside-looking-in. Could their play change with the additions of Backes and Bergeron? Of course. Is it a big enough addition that we should expect this team to do a 180 degree turn around? No. David Backes hasn’t shown that he’s a game changer since coming to Boston and the decline is his production over the last three seasons suggests that trend will continue.
The only saving grace is that Patrice Bergeron will return and Ryan Spooner will be
cannoned to the sun sent back to the third line. Bergeron’s return could help on the defensive end as he’s a master of driving puck possession and defensive play. Boston shot suppression was incredibly poor during these last three games.
If the Bruins continue to play this way get the duck boats ready to drive everyone to a draft lottery party.