Don’t press the panic button on the Boston Bruins penalty kill just yet. Slow down, Boston fans — take a deep breath. In fact, forget everything you saw in the New Jersey Devils game. This is not the Bruins penalty kill we will see all year.
The Bruins have been historically great on the penalty kill in the past few years. Players like Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell have provided the Bruins with an excellent special teams time after time. Unfortunately, it looked as bad as it has in a very long time against the Devils.
It’s important to remember that the Bruins were coming off two pretty emotional back-to-back games. Loui Eriksson got smoked into next week against the Buffalo Sabres and they won on a last-second tip-in against a San Jose Sharks team that deserved to win after dominating all game.
It’s only fair to conclude that the last-minute penalties were a culmination of fatigue and just plain old complacency. Should it have happened? No. But over 82 games, it was bound to at least once. How many times do you expect Bergeron of all players throw a puck over the glass, causing the team to go down two men with under five minutes remaining?
If you told me it would happen once this season, I would have called you crazy. Sometimes the puck bounces their way sometimes it doesn’t. This is really the only adversity the Bruins have had to face all season, so it will be interesting to see how they bounce back.