OK, so perhaps your Boston Bruins will not be the second coming of the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. That doesn’t imply that, after three straight losses, they’re in disaster mode.
The B’s are 38-7-5. If the final three video games have proven us something, it’s that the tempo they have been on within the first three-plus months of the season is simply not sustainable over the course of a full season in at present’s National Hockey League. A bump within the street was lengthy overdue.
But the B’s have some work to do to make sure that this little pothole doesn’t develop into a sinkhole. They nonetheless have sizable leads on each the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Atlantic Division (11 factors) and the Carolina Hurricanes for the Eastern Conference (9 factors) and they should defend them. As the B’s have been getting soundly crushed by the Canes at PNC Arena on Sunday, it turned clear that residence ice benefit might very nicely be the tipping level in any variety of potential sequence.
So with the B’s getting some a lot needed-rest on Monday, listed here are some leftover concepts and ideas type the B’s Lost Long Weekend.
Simplify the ability play
One of former coach Bruce Cassidy’s laments when the PP hit the skids was “We got stubborn.” That the case once more when the B’s prime unit tried to hold the puck into the zone solely to have the assault repelled over and over and over. When the B’s lastly began to dump the puck in on Sunday, they put it in spots that goaltender Frederik Andersen might deal with it or that they had nobody shifting with pace to get in behind the defensemen. The B’s went 0-for-12 within the three losses when a aim right here or there might have modified any a kind of video games.
The anticipated return of Jake DeBrusk after the All-Star break/bye week ought to assist. That’s to not lay all the issues of the PP on Taylor Hall, DeBrusk’s substitute there. Through the primary 10 video games of DeBrusk’s absence, the B’s clicked at 28% (7-for-25). But Hall, changed on the unit by David Krejci in Carolina, does are likely to roam from his net-front spot and the highest unit ultimately turned disjointed.
The B’s do have one necessary recreation earlier than the break, in Toronto on Wednesday. We wouldn’t thoughts thoughts seeing Nick Foligno on the web entrance on the highest unit. He’s robust on ideas, puck retrieval and is a fairly deft passer from behind the web.
Find the suitable line for Hall
Coach Jim Montgomery is testing out choices for the long run and, with the B’s place within the standings, there is no such thing as a higher time to try this. But the Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Hall mixture is an concept that has run its course. Hall’s recreation, for no matter cause, didn’t translate nicely to enjoying the off wing. In 22:58 of ice time, the combo has neither scored nor been scored upon, however the 5-on-5 high-danger likelihood is 6-3 in opposition to them, in line with Natural Stat Trick. Not each experiment works.
Like the PP, this difficulty ultimately ought to resolve itself when DeBrusk returns and he presumably takes his spot with Bergeron and Marchand. Hall can return to play with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic, the place he’s helped to supply the B’s with depth scoring that allowed for his or her torrid first half.
In the meantime? Load up with Pastrnak with Bergeron and Marchand and let Hall play with Krejci and Pavel Zacha. Zacha can play his off wing and the trio produced the one aim in Carolina. However it occurs, the B’s must get Hall going once more. After getting credit score for the B’s lone aim in Carolina after it was initially given to Zacha, Hall has two targets in his final 20 video games.
Appreciate Brandon Carlo
Acknowledge what he’s, people, as a substitute of lamenting what he isn’t. For some cause, Carlo has changed Tuukka Rask for some vocal followers because the vessel for all that’s flawed with the Bruins. And, sure, he had a really tough recreation in Carolina, punctuated by the Hurricanes’ third aim when Seth Jarvis stripped him of the puck and scored on a breakaway. He was additionally minus-6 within the three losses, although he was not primarily chargeable for all these dashes. The reality of the matter is Carlo has had an excellent season, doing yeoman’s work with Derek Forbort on the crew’s league-leading penalty kill and he’s transitioning the puck significantly better below Montgomery and assistant John Gruden.
Carlo doesn’t ram opponents by means of the boards on each shift and, with him being 6-foot-6, some people will perpetually maintain that in opposition to him. It doesn’t imply he can’ be efficient at what he does and, as a rule, he’s.
Fatigue is an actual factor
The B’s have regarded spent, ranging from the third interval in Tampa final Thursday. It might be bodily, nevertheless it’s simply as probably the slippage is because of psychological fatigue from being each crew’s measuring stick recreation for the previous couple of months now. The upcoming break will do some good, however they nonetheless have a western Canada swing plus 15 video games in March.
We’re not a fan “load management” relating to wholesome guys sitting out video games, however contemplating the age of some of the highest gamers, the B’s may need to try this when and in the event that they’re comfy of their playoff positioning.
But maybe extra importantly, they should complement on the commerce deadline. Obtaining Bo Horvat is now not an possibility after the Islanders’ Lou Lamoriello swooped in and grabbed him on Monday for Anthony Beauvillier, prospect Aatu Raty and a conditional first-rounder. But including a Jonathan Toews or perhaps a Nick Bjugstad to bolster the fourth line scoring and supply extra choices within the prime 9 normally has a re-energizing impact on the entire crew.
With the best way they’ve regarded the previous couple of video games, the B’s might use a shot within the arm.
Both Joona Koppanen and Marc McLaughlin have been returned to Providence however until DeBrusk is deemed prepared for Toronto or they plan to go together with seven defensemen, they’ll must recall one other ahead.