The Bruins held their second extended scrimmage of training camp on Friday at Warrior Ice Arena. Here are some takeaways from the extended on-ice session.
New special teams units get a look
If the Bruins plan on remaining as one of the top dogs in this revamped East Division, they're going to need their man advantage to hold steady as one of the more lethal power-play units in the league.
Of course, that's a task that's easier said than done in 2021, given that Boston's productive power play — which ranked second in the NHL last season with a 25.2% success rate — will open the 2021 season without its blue-line QB (Torey Krug) and top sniper (David Pastrnak).
Given those vacancies — and the need for Boston to hit the ice running with a potent special-teams punch out of the gate — a major focus of Friday's scrimmage involved Bruce Cassidy and his staff giving both his revamped power-play and penalty-kill units extended looks out on the ice.
The groupings on the man advantage were...
Power Play Group 1: Grzelcyk, Krejci, Marchand, Bergeron, Coyle Power Play Group 2: McAvoy, Smith, Kase, DeBrusk, Ritchie
For as much as that top grouping will miss Pastrnak's one-timer from the left circle, Krejci has often served as a suitable replacement when pressed into service from that same area, although the veteran pivot primarily operated up high alongside Grzelcyk on Friday. Grzelcyk has been a standout so far in camp, with the blueliner excelling on breakouts with crisp first passes, but he's also been poised during power-play sequences — even if he may not be as dynamic as Krug in the same role.
There will understandably be some growing pains on both units given the overhaul of talent — and absence of Pastrnak for at least the next few weeks — but Cassidy was