The Boston Bruins have been looking for effective answers on their power play for some time, so they may be trying something different now that they’ve brought in a new batch of players to tinker around with for the season’s final few months.
The B’s are looking at newly acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov as the point man on the top power play unit after the Russian blueliner has shown off a booming point shot with three goals in his short time as a member of the Black and Gold. It certainly makes sense slotting him in there for a look in place of a D-man like Charlie McAvoy, who sometimes shows some reticence to shoot from the point in favor of moving the puck and making plays to set up his high-powered teammates.
“Our power play is kind of stalled,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “It’s been flat, right? And if you look at the Bergeron unit, they’ve scored two goals over the last I don’t know how many games and only one goal really was an in-zone goal was DeBrusk’s his first game back from injury.
“We have the opportunity to experiment, so we’re experimenting, and we are also looking at how does Charlie McAvoy have a lot of success? He has a lot of success attacking down the right wing in the offensive zone.”
🎥 Coach Montgomery on moving Dmitry Orlov to the #NHLBruins first power-play unit during today's practice: “Our power play is kind of stalled. It's been flat, right?…We have the opportunity to experiment, so we're experimenting." pic.twitter.com/fa6QAOxkA7
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 8, 2023
Certainly, it’s something that the 31-year-old Orlov would be enthused about after scoring a career-high 12 goals last season, scoring three in five games with the Bruins and not getting a lot of top PP looks with the Washington Capitals where they traditionally have John Carlson manning that spot over the years.
“I think I always try to be a two-way player,” said Dmitry Orlov. “Sometimes you can do that on the ice and it depends on the system and everything, you know? It’s good hockey right now and I try to do my best. If I score I’m still trying to do the same things out there and work hard, and make simple plays.
“I didn’t play a lot of power play [in Washington]. I just tried to be there and play good. It is what it is. I couldn’t change anything. Coaches had things in their mind and they’re trying to win games. Fortunately I did score [on the power play for the Bruins], but I’m just trying to play good and we’re all trying to play for each other with one goal [in mind]. It’s what everybody is trying to focus on.”
McAvoy and Lindholm were both on the second power play unit at Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena along with David Krejci, Pavel Zacha and Tyler Bertuzzi.
Whatever the case, the Boston Bruins need an improvement from a group that’s 25th in the NHL with a 13.7 percent success rate since the beginning of February and has just one PP goal apiece from both McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm this season. As great as they are as all-around No. 1 defensemen, the power play just doesn’t seem to be a place where they are going to generate a ton of offense while quarterbacking at the top and serving as a dangerous option that can keep PK skaters from sagging to other weapons on the top PP unit.