By Erin Walsh
Since opening their season on a 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals, the Bruins have not lost a game. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Bruins have a 4-1-0 record. The four victories came against the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, and Detroit Red Wings. The Bruins begin a their western Canadian road trip Wednesday night in Calgary to take on the Flames.
That opening night in Washington was terrible. The Bruins didn’t seem to gel, constantly making mistakes and never being able to establish offensive zone pressure. After that beat down though, they have found their groove.
How did they turn it around so quickly? It’s a mix of the young players performing well and also the line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak continuing their hot streak. Over the past week, Bergeron tallied the fourth hat trick of his career and earned first star of the week honors as he recorded four goals and five assists for nine points in three games. Pretty phenomenal from a guy who is coming back from groin surgery.
Although their players have been performing well, the Bruins really haven’t faced a tough opponent since opening night. The Sabres, Senators, Oilers, and Red Wings were all at the bottom of the standings last season and continue to be unsuccessful. The Bruins have outscored those four opponents 22-6, shutting them down in all aspects of the game.
As we look ahead to the future, the Bruins will have some tough opponents to face throughout November. With their third line not yet solidified, they need to find players who can produce. Having Danton Heinen, David Backes, and Anders Bjork on the third line is not ideal. Backes is older and fairly slow, he certainly isn’t the player he used to be and is pretty ineffective at third line center. Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork are still learning the pro game, and are playing inconsistently. The Bruins need to find someone that can play in an effective third line role. Whether it be through trade or by bringing someone up in the organization, something needs to be done if they want to win the Stanley Cup.
It could also be beneficial for the Bruins to look into acquiring a right-winger for David Krejci and the second line. Krejci and Jake DeBrusk have plenty of chemistry but they haven’t been able to find a solid right-winger who meshes with them well. Joakim Nordstrom is filling that roll right now but it shouldn’t last long as Nordstrom is a bottom-six player.
With Torey Krug sustaining yet another injury, the Bruins could potentially look into trading him for a right-wing. This probably won’t happen though as Krug is a vital piece to the Bruins defensive core.
When all is said and done, the Bruins have plenty of options and they have a lot of time to figure things out. What they’re doing right now is working, but how long will it last?
Erin Walsh is a Staff Writer for The Comment.