Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

In, a span of three years, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has guided the team back into a serious playoff contender. Since the firing of longtime time coach Claude Julien, the Bruins have started drafting more skilled players. The organization has seemed to change its philosophy from physical to focusing on attributes such as players with more of a skill set.  In this post,  we’ll review three areas why the Bruins need to restructure the defensive department for the upcoming NHL season.

Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

Redefine Chara’s Role;

At, forty years old the team continues to get excellent production from captain Zdeno Chara. But in, the playoffs particularly against Tampa Bay, Chara showed signs of fatigue. Throughout the course of the season, Chara averaged 23 minutes per game. Not too bad for a  player neither young nor old.  As the season progressed, Chara has paired with the teams  2016 number one draft pick, Charlie McAvoy. In, McAvoy the organization has one of the top young defensemen in the NHL. After the Tampa Bay series, many fans and media people feel that the club needs to cut down on his playing time and pair him with another partner.

Make A Decision On Adam McQuaid;

Veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid is in his last year of a four_year contract  At 31 years old many fans feel that the organization needs to get quicker on defense. In 2017/18 McQuaid missed several games. Considering his  3,000,000 dollar salary it may be time to think about dealing Mcquaid.

As the team continues to draft more skilful players, they can maintain their status as an elite NHL team. .McQuaid has a history of being injury prone by trading him the club can add another younger defenceman.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Help In Providence;

Since General Manager Don Sweeney took over three years ago, the club has qualified for the playoffs two_ years in a row.   If the team wants to resume its quest to win another Stanley Cup, then the defense needs continue to get better. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has improved his playoff performance due to resting more during the regular season.

As it stands now, the Bruins have a young group of six or seven defensemen who are legitimate NHL players. Veteran Torey Krug had a spectacular collecting 14 goals and 45 assists for 69 points. Kevan Miller continues to make progress. Young Matt Grzelcyk who split time with Providence is only getting better. Third _year player Brandon Carlo who suffered an injury at the end of the season be ready at the start of training camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In,  Providence, two Bruins who could be prepared for full _time duty are defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and 2015  number one pick Jakub Zboril. Out, of the two Lauzon is the one most likely one to make the squad. As for Zboril,  he needs to continue to work on his game.

Advertisements

Sweeney’s revamping Starting To Prove Dividends

Since Don Sweeney replaced former General Manager Peter Chiarelli three years ago, the Bruins find themselves as serious Stanley Cup Contenders. The 37-15-8 and Bruins are in second place of the NHL Eastern Conference. Only five points separate the team from the first place Tampa Bay Lightning. In this article, we’ll cover three areas that are paying dividends for this year’s Black and Gold.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roster Overhaul;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Since the teams successful Presidential Cup year in 2012 the Bruins have not gotten by the first round of the playoffs in three tries. With consecutive losses to Montreal and an early exit at the hands of Ottawa last season the Bruins now seem to have found an identity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The first order of business three years ago was to dismiss General Manager Peter Chiarelli. Since Chiarelli’s dismissal in 2015 Sweeney has completely turned the team around. Midway through last season, the club fired longtime coach Claude Julian.  Julian was replaced by longtime Providence coach Bruce Cassidy. Cassidy responded by guiding the team back into the playoffs for the first time in two years. Despite a first_ round loss to the Senators. Despite an early exit, Bruin fans found a reason for optimism.                                                                                                                                                                                            A  Mixture Of Youth And Veterans;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Since Sweeney’s arrival, three year’s ago Bruins fans have seen the likes of Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Jerome Iginla, Chad Johnson and Reily Smith all depart. Enter Charlie McAvoy, Danton Heinen, Jake De Brusk, Anders Bjork, and Sean Kuraly. All have bought into Bruce Cassidy’s style of play and it shows on the ice every night. Only Tampa Bay, Nashville, Washington and Las Vegas have more points.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The new faces seem to click with veterans David Krejci Patrice Bergeron, Adam McQuaid, David Pastrnak, and Tuukka Rask. If the chemistry and good coaching continue the Bruins may have an excellent chance of getting to the finals.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Rotating Goalies;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         One of the biggest differences in this year’s success is the rotating of goaltenders.  Veteran Tuukka Rask is having a great season 24-18 and a 2.21 GAA in 40 games while backup Anton Khudobin is 13-4- in 23 games with an impressive 2.41 GAA .Keeping both goaltenders fresh and sharp may play a big factor come playoff time.                                                                                                                                                                                                          No matter what the end result is hockey is fun again on Causeway Street. The Bruins have their old swagger back. The Bruins are playing like the Black and Gold team fans are used to seeing. After a flurry of activity the past week Sweeney has acquired Rick Nash, Nick Holden, and Black Hawks forward Tom Wingel. If the chemistry continues then the dividends hopefully will be another Stanley Cup.

Can Bruce Cassidy Guide The Bruins Back To T he Stanley Cup Finals?

Now that Bruce Cassidy has been named head coach of the Bruins, fans can only hope that they have the talent to get them to the finals. Cassidy replaces long time coach Claude Julian who was fired late last year. Many questions arise for this year’s Bruins team.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              First, does the young talent on the roster have the skill set to win at an NHL level? Is the defense deep enough to keep the Bruins in games Thirdly is the goal tending strong enough? Tuukka Rask started sixty- five games last year. Only thirty years old Rask, is still young enough to get the Bruins back in serious contention.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The main strength of the Bruins is their offense. Ranked fifth overall in the NHL last year Boston didn’t make any big moves this past off season. Resigning  forward David Pastrnak will certainly be a big to the team. Pastrnaks’ thirty four goals made him one of the top young players in the league.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         If Cassidy can mold the  young players with the veterans then the Bruins should be right their come April. The Bruins have the twealth best farm system in the NHL Players like Charlie McAvoy,Brandon Carlo,Jakub Zboril, Tim Schaller and Noel Accari all made significant gains last year. They were good enough to keep the Bruins alive for five games in round one before losing to the Senators.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Only time will tell for the Bruins. Cassidy was very succesful at Providence during an eight year span. In February the Bruins fired ten year coach Claude Julian. The knock on Julian was he lacked patience with his young players.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Leadership is another strong quality that the Bruins have going for them. Veterans like Zedeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, David Krejci , Dave Backes, and Rask should be a big plus for the young players going forward.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   If Cassidy can rest Rask and utilize his backup goalies then the Bruins could surprise a lot of fans. Cassidy took the team over for only twenty seven games last year. But when he did take over the Bruins started playing together like the Bruins of 2010/11 the year they beat Vancouver to bring home a Stanley Cup.