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Bruins trying to fill playmaking void left by David Krejci and Torey Krug

Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (left) knocks the puck away from Detroit Red Wings center Michael Rasmussen (right) during the first period on Thursday.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

TORONTO — A few leftover notes from a weekend in lovely Leafland …

⋅ The Bruins’ power play is 5 for 10 against the Sharks, Sabres, and Red Wings.

It is 2 for 18 against the Maple Leafs, Panthers, Hurricanes, Flyers, and Stars.

Against the better teams on their schedule, the Bruins have been firing blanks.

They look like they’re missing the poise and playmaking of David Krejci, who took his talents to Olomouc, and Torey Krug (2-6--8 in nine games for St. Louis).

Taylor Hall and Charlie McAvoy will be given time to settle in, but the unit has not clicked instantly. Nor has David Pastrnak dialed in his game. The bright spot in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Leafs was Hall, who smartly tipped a center-of-the-net Patrice Bergeron shot for the Bruins’ first goal.


“I think a few games ago I would have just gotten out of the way of the shot,” said Hall, who is learning the net-front, below-the-goal spot after attacking from the wing in previous career stops. “I’m starting to find some comfort there, being able to tip, read off some guys.”

⋅ After Hall’s goal, Toronto’s speedy, aggressive penalty kill denied them zone entries. That’s an area where Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy feels McAvoy, 23, needs to be better.

“He’s got to settle down sometimes,” Cassidy said pregame. “You see when our entries don’t work out, it’s like a mad scramble. That’s where Torey was excellent at sort of saying, ‘Hey, let’s just stick with the structure. We didn’t get it in this time, we’re not going turn it into a 1 on 4 entry every time.’ That’s where Charlie has to settle the guys down, which is difficult for a new guy, a young guy, whereas Torey had more street cred with those guys. He could grab them and get ahold of them there.”


How long will Cassidy roll with McAvoy up top?

“Until it doesn’t work,” he said. “We want to give him a legitimate chance to get it right. He’s new for the most part, so is Hall, so it’s going to take a little time. The other three guys have great chemistry. There’s no issue there.”

⋅ Before facing the Leafs, Cassidy was asked if the void left by Krejci has been greater or lesser than he expected.

His view: Hard to say, since he hasn’t had his full complement of forwards. The projected No. 2 center, Charlie Coyle, missed all but one exhibition game recovering from knee surgery, and injuries to Craig Smith (three games missed), Nick Foligno (missed last seven), and Curtis Lazar (missed first four) pushed Coyle to right wing. Cassidy is not yet ready to say whether or not the Bruins are lacking a Krejci replacement.

“Give us time here,” he said. “It’s too early to judge whether it’s working or not.”

⋅ The Bruins were off Sunday. On Monday, prep begins for Tuesday (Ottawa) and Thursday (Edmonton). Foligno (upper body), who returned to practice last Friday, could return and potentially push Karson Kuhlman out of the lineup. The fourth line did show progress Saturday, with some chances off the rush (note to Trent Frederic: shoot more) and decent defensive work against Auston Matthews and Co.

⋅ Cassidy was displeased with Erik Haula, sitting him for a few turns in the second and commenting afterward he “looked tired.” Haula, Craig Smith, Frederic, and Lazar are stuck on zero goals. For the first three -- Lazar has been driving hard -- getting to the net is a must.


⋅ Derek Forbort and Mike Reilly were guilty of soft plays on goals against. That’s especially troubling in the case of Forbort, who signed for three years and $9 million to be a defensive rock.

⋅ Hall wore an alternate captain’s ‘A’ for the first time as a Bruin. Bonus: he did it in front of a slew of family and friends, and scored his first goal against the Leafs since 2012.

“Obviously an honor, something you don’t take lightly,” he said. “Wearing a letter for the Boston Bruins is a very cool thing. I’ve tried to be myself. I’m not the most vocal guy on the bench or in the room, but I try to lead with my preparation and the way that I play and battle. It was nice to have that on the jersey tonight. I don’t know if it was because I had 25 people in the stands or what.”

⋅ Hall, the former No. 1 overall pick and 2018 MVP, was of interest to local media in Toronto. The Bruins like Hall’s output so far (3-3--6 in nine games). Cassidy noted that Hall is “hard on himself,” and the team is keeping expectations low. Be a solid player, but don’t feel pressure to be the “face of the franchise.”


Cassidy added that Hall is in a “perfect scenario” as the No. 2 left wing behind Marchand.

“He slides right in behind a world-class player,” Cassidy said, “can have some competition with a world-class player, he can get back to being a world-class player.”

Matt Porter can be reached at matthew.porter@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyports.