Boston Bruins: Struggling Winger Needs To Find His Game Fast

Jake DeBrusk #74, Boston Bruins (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
Jake DeBrusk #74, Boston Bruins (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

Of all the Boston Bruins players that has struggled since NHL hockey resumed, winger Jake DeBrusk is probably one of the more surprising names.

When you look through the Boston Bruins roster, you expect older players like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci or Zdeno Chara to be slower to get back to game intensity. A young guy like Jake DeBrusk ought to be there or thereabouts on night one, however he’s struggled.

Perhaps it’s the thought of contract negotiations weighing heavily on his young mind, with the need to live up to a $6 million per year valuation his agent has touted. It’s entirely reasonable that this has gotten into his head and upset his confidence.

It would be easy to blame a lack of chemistry with his line mates, but he has played alongside David Krejci for a considerable time now, all the while with an interchangeable piece on the right-wing. You can’t really blame his center here.

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Jake DeBrusk has previously thrived on being a presence at the net-front but we’ve not seen very much of that at all through his first three games back.

Even if we don’t place a ton of value on the past three games, he wasn’t really thriving in that spot during the regular season. If he is to find his game, it’s right there that he needs to up his competitiveness. Of course, proper Stanley Cup Playoffs action will likely help him to up the ante.

Lighting a firecracker under him shouldn’t be that hard; just dangle the contractual carrot out there and see if he bites. Of course, this could be the exact issue, in which case such a tactic isn’t going to work at all. We do need to try something though.

Whatever the case may be with Jake DeBrusk, the Boston Bruins need to be able to rely on him for secondary offense. Time and again, we have seen an over-reliance on defensive bail-outs and the first line to drive all offense – it’s not wholly sustainable through a play-off series.

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Jake DeBrusk was (possibly still is) meant to be one of the future key pieces as the veteran core wind down in their careers. Right now, he’s not looking the part. At all.