By: Matthew Cunha | Follow me on Twitter @CunhaMatthew
Let’s be abundantly clear. Both the newly acquired Hampus Lindholm and goal-scoring sensation David Pastrnak are required pieces to the Bruins 2022 Stanley Cup puzzle. But as we sit 11 games out of the playoffs, them missing a few late regular-season games may end up benefiting the Boston Bruins in the long run.
1. Injury Risk
This is the most obvious. Keeping them out of these games lowers the risk of further injury for the long playoff run. That’s pretty self-explanatory.
2. Bruins depth pieces are forced to step up
The biggest benefit for these core Bruins missing some time is it forces three depth pieces to raise their game. Brandon Carlo, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie Coyle are the next guys up when it comes to replacing Lindholm’s minutes and Pasta’s goal scoring. In a big game against Tampa Bay, these guys both logged what I thought were their best performances of the season. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
DeBrusk sparked the entire offense in the Bruins 2-1 marquee win over Tampa to propel them into third place in the Atlantic Division. He scored their first goal and made Coyle’s OT goal happen with a strong defensive play and puck pursuit.
Coach Cassidy even called Jake the best forward on the ice for the Bruins.
When it comes to Carlo, he logged over 23 minutes of ice time and tallied an even +- being forced to shut down the powerful Tampa attack. He trailed only McAvoy in ice time, something that probably won’t happen with Lindholm in the lineup.
3. Everyone will be forced to be at their best for the playoffs
Simply put, the Bruins missing Lindholm and Pasta this late in the season forces everyone else to go to the next level. The DeBrusk, Carlo, and Coyle showing we got on Friday is something the Bruins will absolutely need in a deep eastern conference if they have any hope of raising Lord Stanley.
Obviously, the Bruins need Lindholm and Pasta to be 100% to make a postseason run. But a brief absence to make sure they are healthy and to get other guys on the right foot … just may end up boding well for the Black N Gold. For now, Lindholm and Pastrnak can heal up. It will be a fun May and June months for the Bruins, and those guys will have to be healthy as possible.