Bad Habits Boston Bruins Stars Need to Drop in 2013-14
The Boston Bruins made the Stanley Cup Final in 2013, but that doesn't mean they were perfect.
One area of the team was lackluster at best and even some of their most notable players had issue at times. So, what were they and how can they be fixed? Do any of the offseason roster moves cure these problems?
Here is a look at the Bruins' bad habits last season that need to be be dropped for the upcoming season in Boston.
Milan Lucic: Complacency and Lack of Effort
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As effective as Milan Lucic can be in the corners and in front of the net, he can be complacent and, at times, appears to lack effort.
There are instances when he won't dig as much as he should and he doesn't always use his big frame to his advantage.
When a player is 6'4" and playing like he's 6'0", there's something wrong.
When playing hard and to his level, Lucic is one of the best power forwards in the NHL. But in the past, his lack of production has landed him in head coach Claude Julien's doghouse and he was even a healthy scratch against the Pittsburgh Penguins late last season.
That benching seemed to awaken Lucic from his sleepwalking, as he was a force during the playoffs, scoring 19 points in 22 games.
If the big man can keep the fire in his lantern lit consistently, there's no reason he shouldn't have one of the most productive seasons of his career, especially with the addition of Jarome Iginla to Boston's first line.
Brad Marchand: Bad Penalties
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The Little Ball of Hate's biggest strengths can sometimes be his Achilles' heel.
As one of the best chirpers in the league, Marchand always gets under the skin of his opponents. On top of that, his timely goal scoring makes him as arguably one of the most difficult players to play against.
But his feisty attitude can get him in trouble sometimes. Here and there, Marchand will have trouble containing his raw emotion and he will take a dumb penalty at an inopportune time.
It hasn't been a major problem as of yet, but it's something that head coach Claude Julien has addressed. In June, Mark Divver of The Providence Journal wrote about Marchand walking a fine line with his style of play. Julien told Divver of the team's handling of their productive nuisance:
Every year in the playoffs, not only does he [Marchand] become a target for other teams, but he responds to it. What he’s got to do is respond to it in a positive way.
As long as he doesn’t cross the line — we’ve said that before — we’ve got to keep him in check. His emotion is what makes him a real good player. You have to let him play with some emotion. Again, as long as he doesn’t cross the line.
Marchand needs to harness his emotions and play with a clear focus. If he loses that mindset, he will make a second home in the penalty box this season.
Getting too carried away with personal vendettas and not focusing on the task at hand for Marchand will cause Julien to address the situation.
Team: Power Play
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Boston's power play last season was as effective as couples' counseling for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.
During last year's regular season, the Bruins' power play was ranked 26th in the NHL. They only scored 14.8 percent of the time when they had a man advantage to rank dead last in power-play goals.
That will need to change for this season, and the addition of Jarome Iginla may help. In the Bruins' 6-3 preseason win at Montreal Monday night, the B's scored four power-play goals, including one by Iggy. Yes, it's only the preseason, but you have to start somewhere.
The only area where the Bruins were lacking in last season was a feared power play. If that can be established early this season, the B's will once again be a favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference.