The Boston Bruins are having a strange season. Strange in the sense that they’re considered a “struggling” team even with a top-five record in the NHL and strange in the sense that their once-sound defensive game is suddenly filled with cracks.
In conversations, columns and general musings, it has been difficult to classify this team. The Bruins have yet to really dominate a game but in the same breath, they haven’t exactly been bowled over either. They’ve made some pretty incredible comebacks but yet can’t hold a third period lead at times. Some players have looked elite at times while managing to disappear completely during stretches as well. We’ve been waiting for the team to take it to the next gear and finally break through for 30 games now. They haven’t.
It’s bad but it’s also not bad. Strange, right?
With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, it’s imperative that Peter Chiarelli add to the Bruins roster because the current team isn’t going to do much in the playoffs. But what does the team need to be successful? Glad you asked.
While speculation runs wild on the status of a 2012-13 NHL season, one of the more interesting developments in Boston comes down to the Bruins’ openings on the forwards’ depth chart.
With all of the lines intact as they were last year and the assumed return of right-winger Nathan Horton, a vacancy opens up on the Bruins’ third line. The departures of Benoit Pouliot, who was traded to Tampa Bay in the offseason where he signed a one-year, $1.8 million deal, and Brian Rolston, who remains an unsigned free agent, open a spot on the left-side of Chris Kelly and opposite of right winger Rich Peverley on the team’s third line. While the expectation is that Jordan Caron reclaims the gig once again, the deep group of forwards with Boston’s AHL-affiliate Providence Bruins present some interesting options