Boston Bruins: Brett Connolly Excelling In New Role


Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

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  • The Boston Bruins acquired forward Brett Connolly from the Tampa Bay Lightning for the cost of Boston’s second-round picks in the 2015 and 2016 NHL Drafts. Almost immediately following the trade, Connolly was injured as a result of a Dennis Seidenberg shot which caught him on his right hand. Fast-forward a few months and Connolly was played in a third-line role alongside Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes. After being relatively ineffective and almost invisible on the scoresheet, Connolly was moved to the right wing on the Patrice Bergeron line to fill in for an injured Brad Marchand. He was able to post an assist in that game, but it was clearly not enough for head coach Claude Julien who relegated Brett Connolly to the press box the following game. After an injury occurred to Matt Beleskey, Connolly was once again placed on the Bergeron line and has never looked back.

    During his time on the Begeron Line, Connolly has thrived. Posting points in five straight games, including 3 goals and 2 assists, Connolly has clearly found his stride. Connolly has credited his linemates for his recent success, stating “Those are two guys that are very consistent.” Connolly said. “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 gus 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.” Fortunately for Connolly, Loui Eriksson has also thrived on a line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak, leaving room for Connolly on the Bergeron line.

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    Connolly received some praise from one of his linemates as well, which is always good to boost a players confidence. “He’s really fast. He’s a really good player,” said Brad Marchand of Brett 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.” Connolly was drafted as a shoot-first right winger with a natural goal scoring tendency, so Marchand’s words are simply reinforcing the fact that Connolly is finally breaking out at the NHL level and matching up to his sixth overall draft pick status.

    Brett Connolly is signed to a very cap-friendly deal worth $1,025,000 this season, and he’ll be looking to shine for the rest of the season in hopes of being paid a bigger deal with more term moving forward.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports

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