Boston Bruins Wise to Try Three Defensemen on the Penalty Kill
The Boston Bruins are known for their defense. They are a defense first hockey club so it is no surprise that the Bruins have had one of the best penalty kills in the NHL the past few seasons. Players like Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly, and Brad Marchand have been regulars on the penalty kill.
This year the Bruins have had other players fill in due to injury. Jarome Iginla has seen time killing penalties as well as the young defensemen like Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, and Kevan Miller.
The other night the Bruins had to kill two five-on-three penalties, and they just couldn’t catch a break. The first time the Bruins were trying to kill a five-on-three advantage they tried something for the first time. The Bruins played Krug as a forward and had him run the top of the triangle in what was an interesting decision. Typically you would leave a lone forward to slide between the defenseman. His job would be to pressure the puck so that the opposing team would make a reckless pass or take a low percentage shot.
It actually makes sense to leave three defensemen on the ice if one of them is offensive minded. It allows them to pinch at the right time while still being defensive minded. Ideally you would leave a forward on the ice, but in a situation where you’re down defensive forwards it’s nice to have a defenseman you can play in that situation. It keeps the rest of the team fresh and there is a feeling of security when you have a player who knows what they are doing on the ice.