By: Brandon Flowers | Follow me on Twitter @BKFlowers1
Going into this season, the Bruins had some high expectations as well as some low ones. Some experts thought the Bruins were still Stanley Cup contenders, while others thought the Bruins might miss out on the playoffs entirely. The results of the Bruins this season have shown both sides of the spectrum. In some games, Boston has looked excellent offensively and defensively, while in other games, they look like they don’t even belong in the playoff picture.
Most recently, two Bruins games have been postponed due to Covid-19 protocol. During this time, Boston is holding onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the MassMutual East division. The Bruins still have a few games in hand on the teams above them in the standing, but that doesn’t mean anything if you can’t win the games upon your return to play. The Bruins have struggled this season on the offensive and defensive side of things. They have dealt with many injuries to their back-end players and have had some forwards missing games due to bang-ups and injury.
Overall, Boston has been able to hold on pretty well and win most of their games despite the injuries. There is still something lacking from this Bruins team. Some people will say it’s their offense and missing scoring depth, while others will say it’s been the injuries to their defense that have been the biggest problem. So far this season, Boston has been one of the better defensive teams in the league. Even the defense’s replacements due to the injuries have held their own and have shown promising signs.
The biggest issue, I believe, for this Bruins team making a run at the postseason and for the Stanley Cup is their depth scoring. The Bruins have not been able to get good production from really any line beside the first. We knew the first-line of Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak would be amongst the best in the league, but the lines from two-to-four have not shown up for most of the season. David Krejci has not been able to play consistently with an established right-wing that can produce points. Craig Smith was brought in during the offseason to provide some scoring depth, and he has been up and down so far this season.
With the scoring depth being an issue, consistency has also played a big part of the problem for this team. Even with the many lineup shuffles and the players, the Bruins have, not many have been able to be consistent with their play. Some players will get hot for a game or two and then cool off for the next five. You can’t have that happen going into the playoffs.
Boston will need to do something before the trade deadline approaches if they want any shot at hoisting the Stanley Cup again. Their best bet as of now is trading for a forward because their defense can hold their own. If the Bruins can acquire at both ends, trade deadline season will definitely be a success.