In Focus After Four: Boston

Four games into the season, Boston is still searching for their identity.

In Focus After Four: Boston
Megan Keller celebrates her goal with Loren Gabel and Alina Müller. Photo by Michael Riley/PWHL.

Note: prior to publication, Boston played their fifth game of the season against Ottawa, but it will appear in the next installment of this series.

So far this season, PWHL Boston has shown us flashes of what they're capable of and what they want to be, but overall, they are still searching for their identity as a team. Now that they're four games into the season, it's time to take a look at what they've done so far, and where they're going next.

Record: 1-1-0-2


  • Wednesday, January 3 vs Minnesota- 3-2 L
  • Saturday, January 13 @ Montréal- 3-2 OTW
  • Wednesday, January 17 @ Toronto- 3-2 W
  • Saturday, January 20 vs New York- 4-1 L

Early Storylines

Hilary Knight, wearing a white home uniform, hunts the puck during a game.
Hilary Knight hunts the puck during a game. Photo by Heather Pollock.

Lack of Scoring

On paper, Boston has one of the most high-octane offenses in the league. Despite that, Boston is struggling to score this season. They’re putting up plenty of shots, but they cannot finish plays consistently. Most of the goals that they have scored have just been on pretty shots. There has been a distinct lack of gritty goals, and it’s something Boston needs to work on going forward.

Boston is also looking for more of their players to start contributing on the scoresheet, including some of their big guns. Gabel and Müller have come alive, but captain Hilary Knight and defender Sophie Jaques are among eight skaters who are still searching for their first PWHL points. Only seven of their skaters have multiple points. Sure, it’s still early in the season, but in a league as competitive as this one, it doesn’t take much to fall concerningly behind. Boston needs their vaunted offense to wake up soon if they want to avoid that.

Inability to Play 60 Minutes

Boston players, wearing their green home uniforms, prepare for a face-off.
Boston players prepare for a faceoff. Photo courtesy of Adam Richins Photography.

Another major storyline for Boston this season is their inability to play a full 60 minutes. They have shown flashes of what they’re capable of in every game, but they have not been able to sustain it for the whole game. In particular, Boston has struggled with slow starts to periods, which has landed them in multi-goal deficits they struggle to crawl out of.

Following the last game against New York, head coach Courtney Kessel spoke about that struggle.

“We’ve had a slow start to a lot of our periods,” said Kessel. “We need to start building momentum right from the start of the puck drop and I think it’s something that’s going to make a big difference for us.”

Boston is a good team. Yet, so far this season, they have shown a remarkable ability to shoot themselves in the foot. If they can figure out how to change that and play to their ability from the first puck drop to the final buzzer, they will be a scary team.

Scoring Leader 

Alina Müller, wearing a green home uniform, prepares for a face-off.
Alina Müller prepares for a faceoff. Photo by Michael Riley/PWHL.

Alina Müller (4 GP, 0 G, 5 A)

Müller has not missed a beat in her first pro season. Sure, she hasn’t scored a goal yet, but it’s been a matter of mere inches on multiple occasions. Plus, she’s racking up assists, with all five of them being primary ones. Three of those have come on Loren Gabel's goals, and the chemistry the two of them have shown so early on in the season is incredible. She has factored into five of Boston’s eight goals this season, and it’s only a matter of time before she starts putting some in herself. To make matters even better for Boston, Müller’s all-around game has been just as impressive as her offensive one. At just 25 years old, she will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the PWHL for a long, long time.

Next Four Games

Megan Keller, wearing a green home uniform, takes a shot on goal.
Megan Keller takes a shot on goal. Photo by Michael Riley/PWHL.

Stay tuned for full previews on each game day, but in the meantime, here’s one thing to look for in each upcoming game.

  • Saturday, January 27 vs Minnesota- 4 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA

Minnesota is the best team in the league so far this young season. As of the time of publication, they have yet to lose in regulation and have only lost once in overtime. In their first meeting back in the season opener, Minnesota outplayed Boston for most of the game and scored three nearly identical goals on Aerin Frankel. However, Boston roared to life in the third period and thoroughly outplayed Minnesota, but goaltender Nicole Hensley was up to the task. So, Boston has shown that they can compete with the best in the league, but they will need to carry that third-period effort across the whole game to give themselves a chance in this one.

  • Sunday, February 4 vs Montréal- 3:30 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA

The first Boston-Montréal game was one of the best we’ve seen so far this season. It was an intense, emotional game and there’s no reason to believe this one will be any different. This has all the makings of a budding rivalry, and fans should be excited to watch it grow this season and beyond. Look for Boston to prove that their overtime win wasn’t just lucky.

Jamie Lee Rattray, wearing a white away uniform, fights for the puck with Dominika Làskovà.
Jamie Lee Rattray fights for the puck with Dominika Làskovà. Photo by Reuben Polansky/Shapiro Photography.
  • Wednesday, February 14 vs Toronto- 7 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA

Last week’s game against Toronto was probably Boston’s worst of the season so far. They were thoroughly outplayed in the first two periods by the current worst team in the league. They woke up in the third and took back some control while managing to pull off the win, but it was still not a game they were very happy with. So, look for them to prove that they’re better than they showed last time.

  • Saturday, February 17 vs New York- 4 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA

To say Boston’s first game against New York was frustrating would be an understatement. No one from Boston was happy after this game. They outplayed New York for pretty much all but the first eight minutes of the second period, but those eight minutes cost them the game. Corinne Schroeder continued to be a brick wall where other teams’ dreams go to die, and Boston couldn’t pull themselves out of yet another deficit. Boston will likely see Schroeder again in this one, so look for them to show that their vaunted offense can in fact score, even against the best goalie in the league (assuming she keeps up her current play).