Bruins Notebook: First Line Woes, Iffy Power Play Highlights Opening Week

BOSTON - NOVEMBER 18: Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins is showered with hats after his hat trick in the third period against the Florida Panther as teammate Nathan Horton #18 stands by on November 18 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins defeated the Florida Panthers 4-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

With the first week of the regular season almost complete for the Boston Bruins, inconsistencies on the first line and on the power play (shocker, right?) have been the recurring theme.

The first week of regular season play is almost complete, and it's time to look at how the Bruins are shaping up so far heading into Wednesday night's action against the Carolina Hurricanes.

First Line Woes

The first line has done more than just flailed - they've flopped. Three games in and the dominant line from last year has done little to earn their placement on the team. David Krejci has the only goal among them, and Milan Lucic has just one assist. Meanwhile, hero Nathan Horton doesn't have a point yet this season and is sitting at a dismal -2 plus-minus rating, with only one shot on goal to his name. 

Coach Claude Julien attributes it to the fact that they haven't clicked yet, and has suggested putting them through meetings with the coaches, or even trying to split them up. He hasn't confirmed any tactic, but if the line continues to falter, don't be surprised if Julien switches things up in order to find new chemistry or motivate players. 

Also, due to Krejci's apparent knee injury according to reports from Comcast SportsNet, and his inability to play Wednesday against Carolina, it will be interesting to see who Julien replaces him with come game time. The most likely candidate would be Tyler Seguin who has shown maturity on the ice both in reading the play and participating in the physicality on both ends in the three games he's played so far.

Tuukka Time

Not all is dismal in Boston, however. One of the highlights out of the last game was the performance of Tuukka Rask in net. No, the Bruins didn't get a win out of it, but it was relieving for Bruins fans to see just how well he played. He let in only one goal out of 35 shots, and he looked really comfortable seeing the puck and being in position. 

He was not offered any offensive support, and while this has been a growing trend whenever he sets himself between the pipes, the 24-year-old Finnish goaltender has told himself he can't get discouraged.

"What can you do? I mean, whatever. It's the first game of the year, it happens a few times a year and obviously it gets kind of frustrating but I'm not worried about it yet, no." - Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask

Not So Power Play

Of all the things the Bruins wanted to carry over from the last year, the power play was not one of them. The playoffs ended with the Bruins only converting on 10 of 88 chances they had with the extra-man advantage for a bleak 11.4 percent success rate.

So far this year, they have actually been worse. With thirteen different opportunities on the power play, the Bruins have only scored once, which was the first goal of the season by Brad Marchand. This had given some hope to the less-than-inspiring efforts, with Joe Corvo and Tyler Seguin adding assists to the goal. Corvo was expected to take the place of Tomas Kaberle and provide puck movement to the power play from the blueline. However, if there's one thing that the Bruins have learned, consistency is what they need to improve that aspect of the game.

Rich Peverley Is Back In Black (And Gold)

On Tuesday, the Bruins picked up Rich Peverley's contract and extended it to keep him through the 2014-2015 season in the Black and Gold sweater. Peverley was one of a handful of others whose contract would have been up at the end of the season.

Peverley currently leads the team in goals, netting two in last Saturday's game against theTampa Bay Lightning. In 23 regular season games last year with the Bruins, he only managed four goals and three assists, but came back in the playoffs with another four goals and eight assists. 

For more Boston Bruins coverage, visit our team page and blog, Stanley Cup of Chowder.

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