Today, the Bruins are delivering the goodies they purchased earlier this month for their annual toy drive. There is no practice, and they will resume work tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at Ristuccia Arena.
Here’s the latest version of Plus/Minus:
+ The improved play of Zdeno Chara. Philly’s No. 1 line of Daniel Carcillo, Mike Richards, and Jeff Carter didn’t get too many offensive sniffs last night. Chara started the season slow, but he’s re-established himself as the team’s best defenseman.
+ The penalty kill. The Bruins PK, the best in the league (86.2 percent), turned aside a five-on-three Philly power play last night, with Dennis Wideman blocking everything in sight.
+ Tuukka Rask. With Tim Thomas’s game a shade away from his Vezina Trophy-level from last season, the rookie has been a top-notch No. 2.
– Not much finish riding with Marc Savard. Blake Wheeler’s play has dipped in the last few games. Byron Bitz does everything his coaches ask to do, but the right wing has NHL scoring limitations. Without a legitimate finisher on his line, Savard’s dishes are being wasted.
– The inconsistency of Marco Sturm and Michael Ryder. Both should be candidates to ride with Savard. But both have their issues — Sturm not burying his scoring chances, and Ryder not creating enough of them.
– Matt Hunwick’s lack of confidence. Last season, the puck-moving defenseman was a valuable offensive weapon from the back end. The Bruins could use a confident Hunwick’s skills to spark the offense.