BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins President Cam Neely acknowledged that the team can learn from its first-round loss to the Washington Capitals in the 2012 playoffs, and one area the team can improve is the power play.
Against the Washington Capitals, the Bruins were 2-for-23 on the power play and didn’t score with a man-advantage until Game 5, snapping a streak of 14 consecutive unsuccessful opportunities.
During the team’s Stanley Cup run in 2011, the Bruins power play also struggled and was 0-21 against the Montreal Canadiens in the first round and finished the postseason 10-88.
“We got away with it last year as everybody knows,” Neely said Thursday during the front office’s annual end-of-the-year press conference. “This year, it kind of bit us in the [rear].”
But for Neely, the success of the power play doesn’t weigh only on the percentage and there’s more to be seen than what’s reflected on the box score.
“We really need to have a philosophical difference of how we look at the power play,” the Bruins President said. “I don’t just look at the percentage of the power play.
"I look at when we get power plays, what the score of the game is, what time of the game is – that’s important – maybe more so important than what the actual percentage of the power play is.”
When pressed more directly on how the team can improve the situation, Neely, who holds the franchise record for most career postseason power play goals with 24, brushed away any suggestions he hit the ice to help.
“No, my skates are too small, my feet grew somehow,” Neely joked. “I won’t be getting on the ice.”
On a more serious note, Neely remained confident that the Bruins are equipped with the proper personnel to make amends to the current struggles the power play has experienced.
“There’s some things we’ll certainly discuss in the offseason about what we can do differently," said Neely. "I think it’s an area that absolutely needs improvement and we will improve on it.”