The New Year is here! You know what that means! It’s a new year, with new beginnings and new years resolutions.
The Boston Bruins enter 2017 tied for 2nd place in the Atlantic Division with the Ottawa Senators. Not a bad spot to be in if you’re Boston. The 2016-2017 campaign is far from done but if you’re a Bruins fan you have to be happy even with the inconsistencies that come along with this team. Here are a few new years resolutions I have to solve their inconsistent play.
Fix Backup Goaltending
The backup goaltender position has never been worse for Boston. The Bruins have 1 win from a backup goalie this year and it’s January 2nd. Meaning Anton Khudobin, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre combined for 1 win in 10 starts this year. That’s a lot of crucial points left on the board.
Goes to show how Tuukka Rask is the MVP of this team right now collecting 19 of the clubs’s 20 wins on the season.
Stay The Course With The Youth
That’s the only way they’re going to develop into better players. Guy’s like Brandon Carlo, Colin Miller and Austin Czarnik have made huge strides this season and it’s important to keep playing them regularly.
They’re going to have their bad nights but that’s all part of a development of a player. You can’t just stick them up on level 9 of TD Garden every night for 3 weeks and expect these kids to play well when its time for them to play. That’s just not how it works. Patience is a virtue.
Scratch Jimmy Hayes
Speaking of level 9, this guy SHOULD be up on level 9 with the way he performed from February up until now. Jimmy Hayes had a 35 game pointless streak dating back to last season.
He finally snapped that drought in November of this year with a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jimmy Hayes has accumulated a grand total of 3 points in 33 games this season.
Although Hayes has found chemistry on the 4th line with Dominic Moore and Anton Blidh, his production is very limited to say the least. What purpose does he really serve? What’s his role cause I’d like to know.
Trade Ryan Spooner
This might be an unpopular opinion but the value has never been any higher for center Ryan Spooner. Spooner has 7 goals 11 assists and 18 points on the season but is red hot right now with 9 points in his last 10 games.
Quick trivia, what do all these players have in common? Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Backes, Ryan Spooner, Austin Czarnik, Dominic Moore and Noel Acciari. The answer is they’re all centers.
If there is one position that the Bruins are deep at it’s at center even with the injury to Backes. This team is infatuated with the center position. Coach Claude Julien also hasn’t shown much trust in Spooner especially cause of his lackluster play in his own defensive zone.
Spooner is on his final year of his contract and it’s important the Bruins get something for him. They still have budding star David Pastrnak to sign in the offseason and you know he’s probably going to command up to 6 million a year if he keeps up this rate. Don’t ask me what we could get for Spooner because it’s anybody’s guess, If I were the GM, I’d potentially ask for 2 draft picks for Spooner.
Trade for a Right Wing
A top 4 defenseman is what the Bruins really need, but it doesn’t seem all that realistic that the Bruins are willing to trade a ton of youth to get one. Looking at the hockey club’s depth at RW, there’s not much there at all. With Backes out indefinitely with a concussion, your right-wingers are David Pastrnak, Frank Vatrano, Riley Nash and Jimmy Hayes. Vatrano’s only playing there right now cause of the injury to Backes, his real position is left wing.
Looking at the market right now for potential right-wingers, Radim Vrbata of the Arizona Coyotes and Jarome Iginla of the Colorado Avalanche make the most sense. Both are on the last year of their respective deals as well. With both of those teams completely out of the playoff picture, I can totally see 1 or both players get dealt at the trade deadline.
Losing to Colorado, Toronto, and the NY Islanders is not ideal. Those could be critical points lost that we could be talking about in seasons end. However the Bruins should be satisfied with the standings right now. The New Year will not be kind to them in the months of February and March when the B’s go on their 2 western coast trips from hell. That means it’s important to get these points now while they can against lesser competition. If they don’t, the roller coaster that is the 2016-2017 Boston Bruins is sure to be a bumpy road ahead.
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