Despite chances, P-Bruins start 2012 season 0-2
The first two games of the 2012-2013 AHL season haven’t gone the way the Providence Bruins intended. The team has a 0-2 record despite having early leads in both games this year. While the wins aren’t there yet, the team has not played poorly. On opening night, the team had a great first period of hockey. They were energetic and aggressive while firing good passes and taking good shots. This led to them having a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission, but the final two periods were not as good. The energy and the crispness of the passes weren’t there, and that showed as the team eventually lost 3-1 to the Manchester Monarchs.
Similar happened in the P-Bruins next game with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The team got on the board first with a 1-0 lead, but surrendered that lead with only a few minutes to play in the period. The Tigers came out much more energetic than the Bruins in the second period, scoring within five minutes to make it 2-1. Providence responded well to this, firing 15 shots on goal and getting many scoring chances. However, none of them found the net, and the second period ended with the score still 2-1. Providence would go on to lose the game 4-2.
Things could look much worse for the P-Bruins, and the fact they are getting many scoring chances is a sign of good things to come offensively. One thing that hasn’t been good is their power play. In both games this year, the P-Bruins have not only gone scoreless on the power play, but they have allowed a shorthanded goal. When you are getting outscored 2-0 on your own power play, things need to change. Overall, they are 0-11 on the power play, which has been a problem for the past few years. Though it is still early, it would be nice to see some results in their next couple of games.
Part of the early offensive problem has been the newly acquired Chris Bourque. Bourque was brought to the Bruins organization this off-season after a season that saw him lead the AHL in scoring with 93 pts. While it is still very early, Bourque has yet to register a point in these two games, something that only happened twice last year. Only one time did he go three straight games without a point, so expect him to get point number one out of the way this weekend. P-Bruins captain Trent Whitfield also has been held scoreless on the year, so once those two get going, this is an offense that can be dangerous.
Through the first two games of the year, no player has more than one goal for Providence. Jamie Tardif scored the lone goal on opening night, and Max Sauve and Craig Cunningham both found the back of the net in game two. In the plus/minus department, last year’s team leader Kevan Miller is picking up right where he left off. He, as well as Tardif, are a plus 2 on the season, and none of the four goals scored on Saturday occurred while Miller was on the ice.
In net, the goaltending hasn’t been terrible. Michael Hutchinson has allowed 3 goals in each of the first two games, but remember that if the Bruins didn’t allow breakaway shorthanded opportunities, that number could be 2 per game easily. He has not been the problem for the Bruins and I expect a good year from him between the pipes.
Providence is back in action tonight as they begin a 2 game weekend road trip. They will face the Monarchs tonight and will then travel to Springfield to take on the Falcons. Both games are at 7:00.