When the Boston Bruins fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs the key issue with the club was their lack of depth. It if weren’t for the Bruins top line the team probably wouldn’t have made it out of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Outside of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak there was little to no offense. Guys like David Krejci, Jake DeBrusk, and Torey Krug pitched in a little, but after them there was absolutely no help.
Was that issue addressed this offseason? Not exactly. And the lack of depth is already showing in Boston. Through seven games the black and gold have scored 26 goals and 16 of them have come from the 63/37/88 trio. That means that the remaining 16 men (goalies not included) who have put a Bruins sweater on this season have combined to score 10 goals.
Now I know seven games is a small sample size and the start of the season can be tough, but there’s not a lot of signs showing us that the depth of this team will start scoring. The current bottom six of the club has too many “grinder” type players, which is hurting the offense of the club. Guys like Sean Kuraly, Noel Acciari, and Chris Wagner aren’t going to provide the offensive depth this club needs. Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes do provide some upside, but they aren’t the answers either. They also aren’t the guys that are going to help set up their younger, more skilled linemates.
I’m not saying the Bruins need to make a massive move this early in the season. However, they do need to find themselves a little help on offense. They don’t need to add a huge name on offense, they just need a guy that can produce between 10–15 goals and 25–30 assists. They need an offensive minded guy that can help set up guys like Danton Heinen, Anders Bjork, or Ryan Donato. The young guys on this club can play. They just need a little help on offense so that they can actually produce.
The Bruins are one of the best teams in hockey but their lack of offensive depth will haunt them. An offensive minded center with the ability to mix in a little defense will go a long way for this club. The Bruins have the assets to go out and make a minor move. Now is the time to do it. If they can’t find more depth on offense then the team is looking at another early playoff exit in late April or early May.
Kevin Maggiore (@kevin_maggiore)