The Bruins just capped off a wild finish against the Colorado Avalanche as they blew a two goal lead to lose 4-3 in the last minutes of regulation. Ullmark still looked stellar, but this team just got outworked and out skated as the Avalanche were flying on ice. Not a bad performance for a squad still trying to establish itself defensively, while Marchand plays at 80-90% capability because of an upper-body injury.
Bergeron is still looking to kindle some point magic with his finisher in Pastrnak, who will be going to the second line and finding some heat with Taylor Hall tonight. Craig Smith will eventually fill that void on the top line with his energy and speed. I will tell you know, this season will depend on guys like Charlie Coyle and Erik Kaula contributing to the goal department. Without that, I don’t see this defense making up the goals the Bruins will need to outscore these teams.
We are once again seeking depth scoring on the defense as well. Charlie McAvoy and Matt Gryzelcyk, with their combined 43 points, are clearly out pacing the rest of the defense (out of 9 defensemen used, they have only generated 34 points which is not good). Maybe Brendan Carlo finds a stride and Mike Reilly can show anywhere near that magic he showed in the first 10 games with the Bruins last season. Ullmark has shown he can hang and earned his contract. I think the attention needs to be on Rask and properly playing him, or getting him playoff ready. Maybe a quick AHL stint to slow things down, then speed it back up for the guy, will help but Rask still looks rusty to be dependable against the top half. Still love the guy, but coming off surgery and going against some of these opponents who can bury 4+ goals on any day is tough.
Boston Bruins’ Upcoming Schedule
- 1/28 – @ Arizona
- 1/30 – vs Dallas
- 2/1 – @ Seattle
- 2/8 – vs Pittsburgh
- 2/10 – vs Carolina
- 2/12 – @ Ottawa
- 2/15 – @ New York Rangers
Looks like a tough stretch for the Bruins in their next 7 games, with a nice week break after a back-and-forth Arizona-Boston-Seattle trip, Definitely getting the air milage in, and first class luxury, on this excursion. Getting 2 wins out of the first 3 games would be crucial as 3 teams out of the last 4 are top 3 in the Metro Division and all are top 6 in the Eastern Conference. So I’m expecting a fierce and challenging slate of games ahead but I think after a close loss with Colorado yesterday, this team can continue to develop and play stronger.
Boston Bruins’ Line Pairings Against Coyotes
1F: Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Craig Smith
2F: Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
3F: Jake Debrusk – Charlie Coyle – Oskar Steen
4F: Anton Blidh – Tomas Nosek – Curtis Lazar
1D: Charlie ‘ The Stallion’ McAvoy – Matt Grzelcyk
2D: Mike Reilly – Brandon Carlo
3D: Connor Clifton – Derek Forbert