July 16, 2024

Bruins

Let’s take a look at a number of gadgets that ought to be on the Bruins’ want listing.

Defenseman Ian Mitchell (proper) and the Bruins have been second greatest to the puck throughout most of Saturday’s recreation in opposition to Connor Dewar (26) and the Wild.

During the last two weeks, the Boston Bruins have turned ’tis the season into Festivus for a lot of New Englanders.

No matter good mojo they developed from one other torrid run in October evaporated over the course of two months. The Bruins appeared certain to exceed expectations of their first 12 months with out Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci following an 8-0-1 begin, solely to limp into the NHL vacation break with their first four-game shedding streak since dropping the final 4 video games of their 2020 second-round bubble collection in Toronto in opposition to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Between the unforced turnovers, ill-timed penalties, relaxed defensive protection and declining offensive manufacturing, the Bruins supplied loads of grievances for his or her loyal fanbase. Nonetheless, they’ll seemingly stay on Santa’s good listing for now, even with the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs every sitting inside 4 factors of the highest spot within the Atlantic Division.

With that in thoughts, let’s take a look at a number of items the Bruins might use for his or her vacation want listing.

A closers’ mentality to handle their third-period and extra time points

“Closing Time,” the one-hit surprise from Semisonic, primarily paid tribute to each “final name” at an area watering gap. However the lyrics present leeway to a number of interpretations of on a regular basis life.

Both approach, the Bruins could must blast this ’90s-hit single at any time when they maintain a lead within the remaining 20 minutes of play.

The Bruins relinquished 4 leads this season inside underneath 20 seconds left in regulation. Their 3-on-3 extra time outcomes haven’t fared significantly better, sporting a mark of 2-5 by their first 32 video games. All their losses got here after relinquishing a lead in the course of the remaining body.

Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have carried out admirably underneath duress. The help system in entrance of Boston’s final line of protection, nevertheless, must tighten up, particularly throughout crunch time.

But, the Bruins might additionally use some insurance coverage in pivotal moments. This growth leads us to the subsequent present.

An improved work ethic to assist with secondary scoring

David Pastrnak (20) and Brad Marchand (13) notched 32 of the group’s 100 objectives by 32 video games. Charlie Coyle is the one different Bruin (10) with double-digit tallies. Collectively, the three produced 43 p.c of Boston’s objectives.

The forwards grew to become used to Jim Montgomery’s frequent in-game modifications. Except for maintaining the fourth line principally the identical when wholesome, the second-year Boston bench boss hardly stored his different three strains intact for prolonged stretches this season.

Maybe Montgomery’s try at lineup stability throughout Saturday’s tilt in Minnesota will present stability in the long term. However the Bruins can’t solely depend on Pastrnak, Marchand, Coyle and Pavel Zacha for his or her offensive manufacturing.

Whereas his effort hasn’t dropped off, Jake DeBrusk’s latest 10-game objective drought stays a reason for concern. The Bruins obtained some first rate runs out of Trent Frederic, Danton Heinen, James van Riemsdyk and, lately, Morgan Geekie this season. Collectively, the depth scoring hit a big lag in comparison with their manufacturing from Boston’s record-breaking common season.

Between the a number of defensive breakdowns and their struggles in gaining possession of the puck throughout one-on-one battles, the Bruins hardly generated secondary seems throughout their two-game journey to finish their pre-holiday slate. Their struggles within the internet entrance on each ends of the ice in Winnipeg and Minnesota resulted in a pair of uninspiring outings.

A number of days of relaxation and restoration could assist the Bruins regain their forechecking id. However, the latest scoring points could immediate GM Don Sweeney to have a look at his pipeline to help within the interim.

A call-up from Windfall to try to spark the large membership

The Bruins obtained some injection of youth inside their backside six. Johnny Beecher solidified his spot in the course of the fourth line, whereas Matthew Poitras and Mason Lohrei showcased flashes of potential over the primary few months of their respective professional hockey careers.

Regardless of the early-season developments, the Bruins sit within the backside of the league’s prospect rankings. The low placements have been extra of a byproduct of making an attempt to assemble a championship-caliber squad within the remaining years with Bergeron and Krejci.

The Bruins could have few choices out of their prospect pool to assist instantly. However amid his torrid run over the past two weeks, Georgii Merkulov positioned himself on the high of the listing of potential promotions.

Merkulov notched 14 objectives on seven objectives and 7 assists over his final eight video games. Whether or not he’s crashing the online or discovering house within the slot for one-timers, the 5-foot-11 winger showcased his scoring contact by a number of means over that stretch.

After all, Merkulov will face stiffer and extra structured competitors at any time when he receives his first call-up. However his constant scoring manufacturing in Windfall warrants a promotion sooner relatively than later.

A commerce chip to handle their heart and defensive depth 

With loads of areas to handle, the Bruins have somewhat greater than $2 million in present commerce deadline cap house, in keeping with Cap Pleasant. Particularly, the Bruins might use a top-six ahead and an improve or two on the again finish.

Calgary’s Elias Lindholm sits atop the listing of early commerce deadline candidates. Lindholm’s two-way skillset stays intriguing as a possible quick and long-term choice to assist handle Bergeron’s huge void.

The Bruins had been linked to Noah Hanifin, considered one of Lindholm’s teammates, relationship again to the 2015 draft. The 2-way blue-liner, who has 17 factors in 33 video games performed, might present wanted help with protection in entrance of the online and a wanted offensive factor on the again finish. 

In comparison with his different friends, Sweeney has fewer property to dangle in potential offers. The Bruins don’t have a first-round decide till 2025 or a second-round choice till 2026. Their prospects outdoors of Merkulov or Fabian Lysell aren’t needle movers both.

DeBrusk could not yield as a lot of a return if he have been on the block. Ullmark or Swayman would. However the Bruins could be clever to maintain their dynamic duo within the internet by no less than the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

In contrast to his earlier two seasons, Sweeney doesn’t have as many avenues for upgrades. The ninth-year common supervisor might have to attend till the wage cap will increase within the low season for the mandatory upgrades, with Lindholm, Hanifin, Steven Stamkos, and William Nylander among the many notable names who might hit the open market on July 1.