Using this post from the game thread as a jumping off point, as I think it's worth it's own discussion. The Bruins cannot score. I've laid the numbers out before, but they have a real struggle getting to 3 goals in regulation. They've played 23 games this season and only hit the 3 goals in regulation mark 9 times. It doesn't matter how good you are defensively, you need to put the puck in the net to win. Over the last 5 games the Bruins have allowed 1 goal in regulation in each game but have walked away with a paltry 4 out of 10 points (1-2-2). Further, their expected goals is 3rd lowest in the league. Through 23 games, at 5x5 they have an expected goals for of 37.27. They have 39 actual goals so they are actually out performing the analytics. The Bruins do not generate any scoring chances whatsoever. They are 5th lowest in the league at scoring chances, and they have the fewest high danger changes. It's just extremely rare for them to sniff a goal at 5x5 in a game.At some point they have to address why nobody outside of Pastrnak can score against any team that can play a lick of defense right? Is it system? Or they just have a 1st line, then a bunch of bottom 6 forwards who are good defensively and give an effort, but can’t consistently bury scoring chances? It’s probably a little of both honestly.
I personally think the problem is two fold. First the system is geared too much towards defending. They are excellent at it, but it comes at a cost.The play in the offensive zone is too perimeter and too predictable. It's cycling along the boards and hoping to go low to high. When it gets back to the point, the D are either moving it along to the other point, sending it back down the wall or trying a feeble wrist shot from deep and hoping for a tip, rebound or bounce to go there way. Sometimes if they move it quick enough the weak side D gets some space to walk in, but they rarely go below the dots. They do not get the puck into the slot or high danger areas frequently, and when they do you know who it is. The first line or McAvoy.
Secondly the defense is just not involved in the play in the offensive end outside of McAvoy (and probably Grz as he gets back in). McAvoy and Grz have combined for 4 goals and 22 assists. Everyone else who has suited up on D (Zboril, Lauzon, Carlo, Miller, Clifton, Moore, Vaakanainen, Tinordi, Kampfer) has combined for 2 goals and 16 assists. That is brutal. They need these guys to be more involved, and in some cases, I think the coaches need to take the reigns off. Let them pinch more, let them create, let them go down low and join the rush.
I don't think they need massive personnel changes here. A veteran, mobile D would certainly help, but there are challenges towards adding one. Some of our forwards are under performing, but I also don't think they really need any sort of changes there. Adding an impact player would certainly help but I don't think it's necessary. I think they need to loosen up defensively and give guys more freedom to create in the offensive end.