A lot of people seem to think Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm is the solution to the Bruins’ woes. However, defense isn’t really the most important issue right now.
The defense is young, but if everyone is healthy, the Bruins have a decent blueline. The main reason the Bruins lose games is due to the lack of offense. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak cannot do everything themselves.
The most recent player to come up in conversation is Arizona Coyotes forward, Conor Garland. He’s just 25-years-old and has 27 points in 35 games this season. He’s also a hometown boy, originally from Scituate, MA. We all know how much the Bruins organization adores hometown players.
Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak have scored 38 of the team’s 89 goals. That is 43-percent of the team’s production. David Krejci, who is usually one of the top scorers, has one goal. Craig Smith, picked up during the offseason, has six goals. While that isn’t terrible, Smith was the player GM Don Sweeney thought would be making a difference. It is simply not good enough.
The Bruins rank 27th in the league with their 89 goals. At this point, it doesn’t matter who is acquired, just as long as they are a top-six forward at a decent price.
Even coach Bruce Cassidy is fed up, not with the veteran players, but the younger ones. He spoke to the media after Thursday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“When you’re a young player in the National Hockey League, you’re given an opportunity to play here,” Cassidy said. “When things go a little bit awry we cannot rely on Brad Marchand to bring us energy in terms of physicality — or we should not have to. Brad’s a leader, good for him, he tried to get a spark. That’s where the Lauzons can make up for a (Connor) Clifton, a (Jakub) Zboril, a (Karson) Kuhlman, a (Zach) Senyshyn, a (Trent) Frederic, a (Anton) Blidh. We need those guys to sort of turn the tide of the game with some physicality, something to get the bench excited, the crowd excited, and I’ll put that with the D, as well. … That was the messaging in the second-period intermission, kind of spelling out a role for players. And you hope the rest of their game grows in terms of their execution just with time, and a little bit of confidence knowing they’re staying in the lineup.”
If Sweeney doesn’t make a splash at the trade deadline, the Bruins will most likely miss the playoffs or face a first-round exit. The only upside is that the rest of the East Divison is not stellar, but how far could the Bruins actually go with the lineup they are being forced to work with right now?
– Caylee Allard
Follow me on Twitter: @2kaRask
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