WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins’ power play famously compiled a 5-for-61 success rate through the first three rounds of playoffs last season, starting with a 0-for-21 run against Montreal in the first round.
In an effort to not get off to such a horrible start when the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs commence, the Bruins spent a large chunk of their practice working on their power play — both 5-on-4 and 4-on-3 situations.
The two quintets were a little different than the ones that finished out the regular season. Zdeno Chara and Joe Corvo manned the points for one group with David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Brian Rolston up front. The other group featured Dennis Seidenberg and Rich Peverley on the points with Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand up front. Obviously, Corvo’s participation will be dependent on him being in the lineup. Right now, it looks like he will play as long as Adam McQuaid is out.
The Bruins closed out the regular season in a 1-for-21 slump on the man-advantage. Lucic said he’s not concerned that that’s a sign of struggles to come, and he pointed to a big power-play goal Boston scored in its dramatic win against the New York Rangers as a sign the team can feature a better power play in this year’s playoffs.
“We’ve just got to do whatever we can to create shots and make good, crisp passes and when options are there we’ve got to find them,” said Lucic after practice. “And most of all, when we’ve got opportunities to score, we’ve got to bear down and put them in the back of the net. It’s all a mindset and I think that’s what we have to do. That has to be our mindset going into it.”
•Head coach Claude Julien opened his post-practice media briefing by declaring that the injury update was “nothing’s changed.” So McQuaid, who did not skate, is day-to-day. Johnny Boychuk and Tuukka Rask both practiced for a second straight day.
•Like last season, the Bruins’ first-round series features two days off on the road between Game 3 and 4. Last season, the Bruins famously hit Lake Placid, N.Y., for a couple practices and some relaxation. This year, there are no plans for a getaway because of the difference in attention the series will get in Washington, D.C., compared to Montreal.
“I think the one thing that you have to, I guess, look at when it came to that is, with the rivalry of Montreal-Boston, it was best for us for those two days to find a place where we could have our guys relax. Montreal’s such a big hockey city, where that’s basically the main sport and they live and die with it. So for us, it was important, and that was a great occasion because Lake Placid was close enough for us to get there,” said Julien.
“You know, in my mind, you don’t always have to repeat the same things. I’m not a believer of let’s do the exact same thing as last year because this year’s a different year. I’ve said that before. It’s a different team. It’s not the same players. We’ve got a lot of the same players, but it’s not the same players. I don’t think duplicating what happened last year is going to make us a better team or give us a better chance of winning. We’ve just got to live in the moment here and recreate it in our own way what we’ve got to do here.”