It's bad enough Glen Murray has scored only one goal all season.
It's even worse because he's not getting many opportunities.
Murray has not scored in 11 straight outings. He had a similar stretch in 2003-04, when he went without a goal in 10 straight games. This season, Murray has 32 shots in 15 games, or an average of 2.1 attempts per match, a number last rivaled when he averaged 2.2 shots per game in 2000-01 when he was in Los Angeles. Murray recorded one shot in last night's 2-1 loss to Montreal.
In 2000-01, Murray took 138 shots in 64 games, also averaging 2.2 attempts. Murray scored 18 goals in 2000-01 but was traded with Jozef Stumpel to Boston the following season for Jason Allison and Mikko Eloranta.
In contrast, during the 2002-03 season, when Murray scored a career-high 44 goals in 82 games, the right wing snapped off 331 shots, his highest total as an NHLer. Murray averaged four shots per game that season.
Murray's 10-game goal-scoring drought in 2003-04 started Dec. 27. He broke the string Jan. 19 in a 5-2 win over the Rangers. Murray had 26 shots during the 10-game skein, averaging 2.6 per game. Despite the slump, Murray scored 32 goals, his third-highest total.
Murray has recorded 21 shots in the last 11 games (1.9 per outing).
Price checkHotshot 20-year-old puckstopper Carey Price made his first career start against the Bruins last night, stopping 28 shots to earn his third win. Price, who led Hamilton, Montreal's AHL affiliate, to the Calder Cup last season, has a Boston connection. His offseason goaltending coach has been Eli Wilson, currently under the employ of Ottawa. Wilson is in business with Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa, and Price has attended the duo's summer camp in Calgary.
Price was the No. 5 overall pick in 2005, the year Pittsburgh nabbed Sidney Crosby with the first selection. Toronto selected Tuukka Rask with the 21st overall selection that year.
Coach Claude Julien gave the start to Thomas instead of Rask because of the relatively light workload the veteran goalie had in Wednesday's 2-1 overtime loss to Buffalo.
"He's not tired," Julien said before the game. "It's a big game. We're not going to hide behind the fact that it's a big game. He's our best goalie now. If he needs a day off, we'll give him [today]."
Lacking powerEntering last night, the Bruins had gone on the power play a mere 54 times through 14 games, fewest in the NHL.
The Bruins are either not possessing the puck or not putting themselves in position to take penalties. By contrast, Anaheim led the NHL with 94 power-play opportunities.
The Canadiens had the 11th-most power plays (73) and had converted 22 of their chances, good for a league-leading 30.1 percent. Last night, the Bruins were 0 for 4, the Canadiens 0 for 1.
Flight delayedThe Bruins got as far as the runway after Wednesday's night game in Buffalo. Because of a problem with their charter plane, the Bruins could not take off and stayed overnight in Buffalo. The Bruins flew to Boston yesterday . . . Andrew Ference (upper core injury) and Shawn Thornton (foot) didn't play last night . . . Manny Fernandez (left knee strain) worked out on the Garden ice with strength coach John Whitesides yesterday. Fernandez has not played since allowing six goals against Montreal Oct. 22. "We want to allow him the opportunity to get better," said Julien. "He's a great goaltender. If we get him to a point where he's 100 percent, he will help our club a lot. Right now, he's got a nagging injury that doesn't let him feel comfortable."
Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at email@example.com.