By: BNG Staff | Follow Us On Twitter @BlackNGoldPod
The final push towards the playoffs and the ultimate goal of the Stanley Cup has begun. With the NHL Trade Deadline the last opportunity for teams to improve before a hopeful run to the holy grail, many teams are figuring out what pieces and assets they want to retain or move.
For the Boston Bruins, it was quite an easy decision. It’s clear the Bruins are all in on this season. While they are a middle-of-the-pack team in the East Division, the B’s looked to improve on deadline day. Boston competed with other top teams to bring in upgraded talent. Taylor Hall was one of the most prized pieces expected to move on deadline day. The 2018 MVP has been terrible with the Buffalo Sabres this season, but then again, who hasn’t?
Still, the Bruins believe Hall could be an asset down the line. While he struggled with the lowly Sabres, Hall has shown flashes of brilliance in his career, which has seen him wear jerseys playing for Edmonton, New Jersey, Arizona, and Buffalo along the way. Hall captured 93 points with the Devils back in 2018. Boston’s front office believes that a change in scenery coupled with an improvement in team culture could be the recipe for success. Of course, the Bruins were not done making other additional moves. The Bruins acquired Mike Reily from the Ottawa Senators for a third-round pick.
Dealing with numerous injuries, Boston needed to improve on defense if they wanted to make a legitimate case for a Stanley Cup this season. Reilly has 72 points in 244 career NHL games, originally drafted by Columbus in 2011. Of course, this isn’t the first time Boston has tried to greatly improve at the deadline. One of the biggest moves the franchise has made in recent years was acquiring Mark Recchi from the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009. Recchi would help the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011 before retiring.
The Trade Deadline benefits different teams for a variety of reasons. You have teams like the Bruins that want to acquire all possible assets to help build a Cup contending team, while other teams are willing to trade their valuable assets away. But with the recent additions made by Boston, how has it impacted their Stanley Cup odds? To get to the dance, you need to outlast teams from your own division, as well teams from the other remaining three divisions.
Focusing on the East Division, the Bruins are listed at +600 to be the outright winner as of April 14th (Betway). Oddsmakers show that it’s a three-team race between the Islanders, Capitals, and Penguins in the East. However, we’re still waiting to see the impact of Hall and Reilly on the Bruins’ lineup. If Hall heats up and Reilly provides depth for Boston’s defense, those odds could easily improve.
The chase for the Stanley Cup is well within reach. With the NHL’s parity, no series or match-up is predictable. The league has seen underdogs swoop in and steal victories (and championships) before. As an outright winner of the Stanley Cup, the Bruins are listed at +1600. Boston has better odds than the Penguins, Jets, and Blues. They are also in the betting-odds neighborhood of the Wild, Capitals, and Islanders to win the Stanley Cup.
If you look up and down the roster, the Bruins have numerous pieces that can make a difference on any given night. Whether it is Boston’s top-line stars all the way down to the gritty nature of their fourth line, this team is wealthy in talent. Injuries have impacted the Bruins this season, but they have managed to stay afloat in a tough division. With the newest additions of Hall and Reilly, the Bruins will look for the spark these two once had on previous teams.
Boston still has one of the best defenses in the league, judging by goals against. If the Bruins’ experiment with Hall pans out, they could become deadly in the playoffs. Of course, now the real challenge is finding suitable linemates for Hall/Reilly to create chemistry with. The Bruins weren’t the only teams that made a splash on deadline day. Most notably, rival Toronto Maple Leafs also upgraded in a significant way.
Despite all the moves made, the best team doesn’t always win. If a certain team is hot, they might squeak by a better team on paper. All that matters after deadline day is that the Bruins have improved. Will that result in a Stanley Cup? Only time will tell.