Boston Bruins: Things Finally Coming Together For Brett Connolly


The Boston Bruins may find out that Brett Connolly should have been their 2010 draft choice all along.  Connolly was in the same draft class as Tyler Seguin, being picked four spots later as the sixth overall pick. While draft mates Seguin and Taylor Hall found themselves quickly thrust into NHL positions, things didn’t come as quickly for Connolly.

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  • While Tyler Seguin was helping the Bruins on their road to the 2011 Stanley Cup, Connolly was playing with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL. While Seguin and Hall put up over five hundred games between them in the National Hockey League, Connolly only had two full seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Even then, Connolly’s numbers weren’t that impressive. 32 points (18 goals) spread out over four seasons. When he wasn’t the healthy scratch or getting minimal bottom-six time with Tampa Bay, he was riding the bus as part of the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.

    It looked like things were going to chance for Connolly when he was acquired by the Bruins. Then a broken finger on his second practice limited his playing time to a scant five games. It looked like Connolly would be another player that had a lot of potential, but couldn’t live up to that first-round draft pick moniker.

    Over the years, Tyler Seguin has proven his ability with the Bruins and now the Dallas Stars. While Taylor Hall still has star power, his time in Edmonton has robbed that shine of some of its luster. After five years of obscurity, the shine is starting to appear on the Bruins 23-year old forward. In the seven games he’s played for the B’s he already has four points(three goals), scoring all three goals within his last five shots on goal.

    That has to do with his current situation. He’s not playing grinding time on the bottom line or guarding the popcorn machine.  He’s playing serious time with forwards Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Marchand’s game has certainly taken on new facets since he’s outgrown his role as primary pest for the B’s. As for Patrice Bergeron, he just makes everyone play better.

    “Those are two guys that are very consistent,” said Connolly of his new linemates on Tuesday. “They work hard every shift, and you’ve got to match that every shift. They’re two guys that have been in the league a long time and won. Two guys I obviously look up to, and I want to give them my best game every time I’m on the ice. It’s helped me, for sure, playing with those guys.”

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    Connolly’s speed plays well to Marchand. His patience to Bergeron. What started out as a Claude Julien quick-fix to replace Matt Beleskey has turned into a solid line for Boston, and a golden opportunity for Connolly. As for his new linemates, they’re pleased with their latest wing man.

    “He’s really fast. He’s a really good player,” declared Marchand of Connolly. “He’s got all the assets to be a really, really good player in this league. The good thing about him is he’s really quick to get into positions to have a scoring opportunity, and when he’s there, he doesn’t miss very often. I think he’s fit in really well.”

    If you can fit in well with Brad Marchand, you can do just about anything in the world you want to. It looks like Connolly may finally found where he belongs in the NHL.

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