1. Power play efficiency
Entering Saturday night with a 23% conversion rate on the power play, the Bruins continued to use the man-advantage as a weapon, going 3-for-4 en route to a 6-1 win over the Flyers.
Charlie McAvoy played well in the absence of Matt Grzelcyk, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron were finishers as usual, and Nick Ritchie continues to be a pleasant surprise as a net-front presence on the top unit.
What’s more encouraging is that the power play is finding ways to score even without David Pastrnak. Once Pastrnak returns, the man advantage will be that much more effective.
2. Balanced scoring attack
Are the Bruins a one-line team? What happens if the perfection line gets shut down? Where will secondary scoring come from?
These were all questions facing the Bruins heading into this season and even more so after they struggled to score any even strength goals through the first three games.
Well, after sweeping their two-game set versus the Flyers including Saturday night’s blowout win, there is plenty of reason for optimism.
Eleven Bruins skaters found the score sheet during their 6-1 win over Philadelphia, including five multi-point performances.
Patrice Bergeron (2G, 1A), Brad Marchand (2G, 1A), Charlie Coyle (1G, 1A),
Craig Smith (1G, 1A) and Nick Ritchie (2A) all chipped in on more than one occasion.
Coyle and Smith in particular had to get going and will have to continue their scoring ways if the Bruins expect to go far this year.
3. Welcome to Boston, Craig Smith
Speaking of Craig Smith, the monkey is officially off his back.
As a sought-after free agent this offseason, there’s no doubt Bruins management expects Smith to contribute offensively.
Though Saturday was only his fourth game for the black and gold, pressure may have been mounting for the speedy, hard-shooting winger since he hadn’t yet scored.
Not only did Smith score his first goal as a Bruin, it proved to be the game winner.
Welcome to Boston, Craig Smith.