This week’s main media focus was drawn towards the Bruins goaltenders Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask as they voiced their very public opinions on issues they feel strongly about. However, aside from all the personal dramas making the Bruins look like a living soap opera, they had an even bigger issue at hand. They needed to find a way to get 2-points in their column and stay among the top teams in the National Hockey League.
While Milan Lucic is making himself more and more noticeable on the ice the past few weeks, we can’t say the same for former line-mate David Krejci. This week alone the power forward has only registered one shot on goal and is sporting a -1 plus/minus after Saturday’s match-up with Nashville. Krejci has already been demoted to the third line to try and light a spark and help him get his groove back, but nothing seems to be working in his favor.
With Nathan Horton being sidelined indefinitely due to concussion symptoms and the trade deadline closing in, it is inevitable that GM Peter Chiarelli has something up his sleeve. It is no secret that the Bruins are seriously lacking depth this season and could really use a strong defenseman, yet another forward is just as essential to the team. Truth be told, the team has been hurting since the trade of Michael Ryder and the retirement of Mark Recchi. Mark Recchi’s shoes alone are big enough to fill, let alone Ryder and yet we only have one player available for the position, that being Benoit Pouliot. While Pouliot has stepped up the plate and has proven himself to be worthy of the second and third lines, there needs to be another asset the Bruins can assemble in there as well, especially with the absence of Horton.
Come trade time, although Krejci is in a bit of a funk, you don’t want to give up one of your best power forwards. Although Paille,Peverley and Kelly don’t get as much playing time as the Bergeron-Seguin-Marchand line, they still possess as many scoring opportunities and as much speed. The rebuild needs to start from the defensive end of things.
Taking a look at the defensive pairs this year, the weakest links would be newest addition Joe Corvo and Johnny “Rocket Boy” Boychuk. While Boychuk has a killer snap shot from the blue line, he has made some fairly crucial turnovers as of late. Joe Corvo has the potential to be better, but he hasn’t grasped the full concept of Boston defense. He still has a tenancy to turn away from the puck and his positioning is off more times than not. To sum it up, he is a talent-less Kaberle. Perhaps we need to look more in the direction of snagging unrestricted free agent Dennis Wideman from the Capitals or perhaps heavy hitter Aaron Rome from Vancouver for some entertainment.
We can even take a look at our Providence Bruin prospects. While Zach Hamill has proven to be unstable as a professional player and can’t take a body, there is also the current call-up Jordan Caron. While he has only registered two-goals this season, one being off of a lucky bounce against the Canadiens, the speed he possesses and plays he creates make for a killer third line forward. Something the Bruins can definitely adapt to.
There is also defenseman Steven Kampfer we can take a look at. He has the ability to make great plays and tends to know what to do with the puck when he gets it. His downfall is that he skates with his head down and makes himself vulnerable, causing him to get injured more often. Injuries are something that are currently plaguing the Bruins with Horton and Savard both missing from the line up, they can’t afford to lose another guy as well because of his own flaws.
Through the month of February the Bruins are 2-3 with eight games left in the month facing teams like the New York Rangers and a re-match with the Sabres. They have scored a total of 5 goals, and been shut-out twice allowing six goals against in Wednesday’s game alone. If they want to perform better they need to start shaking up the lines even more than they have been. While the Bergeron line has been flawless and helped carry the team through some rough spots, the three can help make any line shine. Perhaps Claude should look into putting Bergeron and Krejci together and sticking Campbell or Pouliot with Seguin and Marchand, the possibilities are endless.