Wow, how things can change in the NHL. Just last week the Bruins were riding high with an 8 game win streak and the best line in hockey. Now, one week later they look confused and sitting on a 5 game losing skid that started with them losing to the Blackhawks of all opponents. Yes, I know that the Bruins have faced the elite in that skid such as Colorado and Washington but they also got their doors blown off by Ottawa. The Bruins just don’t seem to be on the same page anymore. Outside of the first line, it seems as though Charlie Coyle is the only bright spot on the team.
The Bruins lack of productivity from their depth guys has really been evident and it cost them in the cup final last year as St. Louis did a good job at eliminating them which had to make guys like Debrusk and Heinen step up which they did not. Ultimately, they fell in game 7. That was last year however and the Bruins jumped out to a 20-3-5 record which was ridiculous but did the peak at the wrong time? Once a formidable tandem, Rask and Halak don’t look like the brick wall they were. Rask especially has given up some soft goals. Then again, can’t blame it all on him, especially due to the fact that they lack a true number one defender. Chara is not it. He’s 42 years old and just dropped the gloves for the second night in a row. They need a true number one guy. Carlo seems to be that guy but he hasn’t lived up to those expectations. Because of that, teams have access to the front of the net which leads to easy second chance goals. That has been Boston’s weak spot and teams are starting to realize it. Oshie knew exactly how to get by Boston’s defense and scored an improbable goal on Wednesday.
The Bruins lack of production from their depth guys has been a running problem and the reason they always get overlooked. Yes, Pastrnak is on pace to break ridiculous records but they need secondary scoring which they haven’t had consistently since the days of Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, and Michael Ryder. You could always count on them to get pucks on net. The Bruins power play too is just horrendous right now as they went 0/5 on Wednesday. Their problem is they are trying to get the perfect goal and not throw pucks at the net and get to the dirty areas. If you go back and watch Stanley cup final runs by teams, most of their goals come from the slot and front of the net. The Bruins have the offensive defenseman for this situation and they have the guys to do it, they just won’t. Debrusk hasn’t gotten to the net that often and the goalie can see the puck fine. The one time they did, Krug fired a bomb and Kuraly tipped it past Holtby. Easy money. They need to stop with the no look passes and throw shots to the front of the net and generate rebounds and scrums. Utilize your big guys like Ritchie and Coyle. That’ll then open things up for those pretty passes and goals.
Do I think the Bruins have what it takes to get out of this? Heck yes I do. This is the most complete roster on paper since the 2014 team which had so much talent on it but went nowhere in postseason play. This year, Bruce Cassidy will wake them up and the Bruins will look to add some more depth via trade and go on a run once again like they have the past 2 years. Don’t be shocked if you see Danton Heinen or maybe even Brad Marchand get traded. Yes, I said it Brad Marchand could get traded. If not, get him to the dirty areas and pot some rebounds and start winning some hockey games.