It was Thanksgiving this week in america, and the vacation season is true across the nook. Like the previous couple of years, PHR will check out what groups are grateful for however this 12 months comes with a little bit of a change. Usually groups would have an thought of the place their season was heading, developing on the one-quarter mark with mountains of statistics to research. As a substitute, on this unprecedented 12 months, the season hasn’t even begun. We’ll nonetheless check out what every group is worked up about and what they might hope for as soon as the calendar turns to 2021.
Up entrance, their prime line remains to be among the many greatest No. 1 items in the whole league and accounted for simply over 47 % of their targets final season. Whereas that’s an indictment of their secondary scoring, it additionally reveals how dominant the trio of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron has been. It’s a line that simply will get the job executed nightly, however they received’t all be accessible for the beginning of subsequent season. However as soon as they’re all wholesome, look ahead to them to choose up proper the place they left off.
That veteran core additionally consists of goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. The pair have shaped a powerful tandem the final two seasons, and with a schedule that figures to function extra back-to-backs, few groups will probably be higher geared up for that than the Bruins whose goaltending ought to as soon as once more be close to the highest of the league.
Who’re the Bruins most grateful for?
Pastrnak could be a straightforward alternative right here because the younger sniper on the rise to stardom, however at this level, they is likely to be most grateful for Marchand. Over time, he has emerged from being an agitator who may contribute in a secondary function to a reputable star (who can nonetheless agitate on occasion). Not all prime liners take an everyday flip killing penalties, however he does, which has led him to common greater than 19 minutes per recreation in every of the final 4 years. He has averaged over a degree per recreation in that span as properly. For all of that, they’re paying a price ticket that some 50-point gamers have been getting in free company not way back at $6.25M. Higher but, he’s locked up at that charge by 2025. Marchand has been a fixture in Boston for greater than a decade, and with that contract, he’ll proceed to be one for a number of years to return.
What would the Bruins be much more grateful for?
A top-four left-shot defenseman.
Between the departures of Torey Krug (St. Louis) and Zdeno Chara (unsigned free agent), the Bruins have misplaced over 41 minutes per recreation from the left aspect of their again finish and a whole lot of offense. Administration confirmed it believes that Matt Grzelcyk is prepared for a bigger function when it handed him a four-year, $14.75M deal final month. However he hasn’t performed in that function earlier than, and neither has anybody else within the group. John Moore is extra of a depth choice whereas the Bruins’ prospects are nonetheless largely untested on the NHL degree. Boston is in good condition on the precise aspect led by Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, however it might really feel a complete lot higher with a confirmed choice on the left to go along with them.
What ought to be on the Bruins’ Vacation Want Listing?
Past that top-four left-shot defender, the Bruins may additionally stand to attempt to improve their secondary scoring some extra. Craig Smith was a pleasant addition however realizing that Pastrnak will miss time (and doubtlessly Marchand), they’re going to take a step again offensively within the early going. They’re one of many few groups that’s prepared to spend and nonetheless has a bit greater than nominal cap room remaining. Can they afford a top-six ahead? Not as issues stand, but when they strike out on including a defender, a middle-six winger who’s seeking to strive his luck on the open market once more subsequent season will surely assist their possibilities and actually give them three strains able to producing when everyone seems to be wholesome.
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Associated slideshow: The 25 greatest NHL duos of all time (Offered by Yardbarker)
The 25 greatest NHL duos of all time
Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier (Edmonton Oilers)
Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito (Boston Bruins)
Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay (Detroit Crimson Wings)
Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier (New York Islanders)
Serge Savard and Larry Robinson (Montreal Canadiens)
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull (Chicago Blackhawks)
Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov (Detroit Crimson Wings)
Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg (Colorado Avalanche)
Maurice and Henri Richard (Montreal Canadiens)
Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer (New Jersey Devils)
Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Crimson Wings)
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals)
Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis (St. Louis Blues)
Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya (Anaheim Geese)
Henrik and Daniel Sedin (Vancouver Canucks)
Eric Lindros and John Leclair (Philadelphia Flyers)
Brett Hull and Adam Oates (St. Louis Blues)
Peter and Anton Stastny (Quebec Nordiques)
Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Geese)
Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Jacques Plante and Glenn Corridor (St. Louis Blues)
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