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The Boston Bruins will go as far as their best players take them. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak need to step up.
When the Boston Bruins take on the Florida Panthers on Saturday, they’ll be desperate for a win for the first time this season. The Bruins have yet to face a ton of adversity up until this point, but now they seriously need a victory to end this five-game skid.
Whenever a team goes through such a losing streak, we all try to find places to point the finger. We look at Brett Ritchie in the top-six as the reason for lack of secondary scoring. Or, we call out John Moore and his play on the backend.
Those guys certainly deserve some of the blame, but they’re depth players at the end of the day. For the Bruins to turn things around, they need more out of their stars: Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
It’s tough to call out Marchand and Pastrnak given their seasons so far. Marchand leads the team with 48 points in 33 games, while Pastrnak is right behind him with 46 points. Pastrnak even leads the league in goals with 26.
However, Marchand and Pastrnak cooled off lately, and this coincides with Boston’s losing streak.
Marchand is currently in the middle of an eight-game goalless drought. In those games, he only has five assists. Five assists in eight games isn’t enough for somebody who averages over a point-per-game.
Pastrnak was a little better over the past eight games, but not by much. He only scored three goals in those games, a far cry from his nearly goal-per-game average earlier in the season.
We can attribute some of this poor production to Patrice Bergeron‘s absence. He only came back to the lineup three games ago, and since then Marchand and Pastrnak already combined for six assists.
That said, the Bruins still needed more from Marchand and Pastrnak, who still got to play with a talented center in David Krejci. They’re the top offensive talents on the team, so the Bruins have to rely on them for something night in and night out.
Boston’s struggles when Marchand and Pastrnak don’t produce highlight the underlying problem: a lack of secondary scoring. The Bruins simply cannot count on the second line to consistently create offense and score.
Nonetheless, the Bruins need more than three goals and nine assists in eight games from their best scorers. At least until Don Sweeney brings somebody in to fill that vacant second-line right wing spot.
The Bruins, like any other team, will only go as far as their best players take them. Based on Marchand’s and Pastrnak’s play earlier this season, the sky was the limit. Now that both players cooled off, the Bruins came back down to earth.