Feb 15, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Bruins are off to one of the best starts in their storied franchise’s history, yet many in and around Boston feel the Bruins need to or should improve by trading for some offensive firepower.
I on the other hand feel differently. I believe the Bruins haven’t even begun to play to their full potential and yet their record still stands at 9-2-2. Pretty impressive for a team that is yet to hit its stride.
But some players have started off on a rather slow foot and the B’s at times seem very out of sync. Which isn’t very “Bruin” like and as I said before, it’s leading some people to want or feel that general manager Peter Chiarelli should trade for the likes of a Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames) or Michael Ryder (Dallas Stars). Possibly even Ryan O’Reilly (unsigned RFA of the Colorado Avalanche) or Stephen Weiss (Florida Panthers).
Not to mention the B’s have struggled to score goals at times, their power-play is still a mess and while I wouldn’t mind if the B’s added any of these players, there’s not much I’d be happy to see go.
I love the B’s roster and I love their core players. Like I said earlier, they have gotten off to a great start and still I feel they haven’t even begun to play their best hockey.
David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand make up arguably one of the best and youngest group of top-6 forwards in the NHL. All but Horton are locked up past this season too. All six of these guys are untouchables in my opinion and have all shown that many times.
That brings us to the bottom-6 forwards for the Bruins. Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley, Chris Bourque, Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille and Gregory form a very solid bottom half for the B’s. Kelly and Peverley are swiss-army knives that can play any position at anytime and Bourque is young kid that is still trying to prove he belongs in the NHL.
Thornton, Paille and Campbell form one of the better 4th lines in the NHL. Also, Paille and Campbell are two elite penalty killers for the B’s and that’s saying a lot for a team that is filled with guys who know how to kill penalties.
Feb 17, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla (12) prepares for the faceoff against the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Flames defeated the Stars 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Of the bottom-6 forwards I wouldn’t say there are any untouchables, however I wouldn’t just give any of these guys away. Kelly and Peverley form a dynamic duo on the 3rd line and while the numbers haven’t been there for Bourque he has given everything he has every game and has played much better of late. Campbell, Paille and Thornton have proven their worth countless times and if you remember when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 this line led all B’s lines in playing time in game 7.
On defense the Bruins boasts as solid a top-6 as their is in the NHL. Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg Adam McQuaid and Andrew Ference have proven they have what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. Newcomer Dougie Hamilton has wasted no time showing what he can bring to the B’s from the back end, but at times he’s looked like the rookie he is and had some lapses. He’s 19-years old, it’s expected and when he’s on, he’s on. The B’s haven’t had a talented young defenseman like Dougie in a long time.
Of this bunch the only untouchables in my opinion are Chara and Hamilton. Chara is the captain and a perennial Norris Trophy candidate, while Hamilton is a kid with nothing but talent.
While I like what Ference brings to the table both off and on the ice, he’s in a contract year and going to be 34 in March. Boychuk fits well in Boston as it may not always be pretty when it comes to his playing style, but he always gives you everything he’s got. He also has a rocket of a shot of the blue-line and never hesitates to throw the body or block shots. McQuaid is one of my favorite B’s and I would hate to see him go as he is one tough son-of-a-B. He’s also a solid defenseman and does all the little things right while rocking an amazing mullet most of the time.
June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Malcolm Subban (right) puts on his team jersey after being selected by the Boston Bruins in the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
However the Bruins need to be very careful when thinking about trading a defenseman. While maybe some of these guys can be viewed as expendable, after the top-6 things get a little iffy for the B’s. Aaron Johnson has performed okay in brief appearances. After him they only have relatively unproven players in Torey Krug, David Warsofsky and Matt Bartkowski. I guess Garnet Exelby could be an option but I don’t want to see him or Johnson playing every night.
If the B’s are to trade one of their defenseman they need to be careful and possibly get one in return or acquire another d-man in a different trade.
It could be possible that the Bruins trade for Iginla, Ryder or someone else with just picks and prospects. I doubt it, but I guess anything is possible and I would definitely be all for it. However, once again it depends on the players.
Goaltender Malcolm Subban is an untouchable as he has the potential to one day be a #1 goalie in the NHL and was this past year’s first round draft choice of the Bruins.
Alexander Khokhlachev is a great, young two-way center that is property of the B’s. He’s currently playing in the OHL but during the lockout he played games in the KHL. So I doubt they trade him and I for one feel he’ll be on the B’s roster next season.
Can you tell I’m indecisive? I guess some would called that biased. Well, now you know how I feel and yes I do know that I’m probably in the minority when I say I don’t want the Bruins to trade a roster player. But please feel free to let me know how you feel, I’m always interested in other people’s perspective and opinions. Just comment below or reach me on Twitter @BillyBrysonNHL
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