Boston Bruins: It Might Be Time To Drop Nick Ritchie For A Few Games

Boston Bruins, Nick Ritchie #21 (Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Nick Ritchie #21 (Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images) /

The Boston Bruins added Nick Ritchie thinking they had the perfect third line addition. Recent performances suggest he needs dropping for a game or two.

After a meager amount of ice-time in Game 1 over-time win, Nick Ritchie followed it up by playing just 10:45 in the Boston Bruins’ Game 2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Safe to say that right about now, Nick Ritchie is firmly out-of-favor with Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy; maybe instead of benching him, Cassidy should look at the other available options.

Straight up, Jack Studnicka has done enough to deserve a chance, so why not take the risk given it’s just 10 minutes of ice-time he needs to play (if he fails to perform).

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On a third line with Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork, or in the last game with Karson Kuhlman in Bjork’s spot, Nick Ritchie is failing to live up to the expectations of being a heavier player that plays the body but can also offer some sort of secondary scoring.

In Game 1, he managed to lay 4 hits but still came away with a -1 plus/minus score despite his limited ice-time. In Game 2, he continued to hit the Canes’ bodies with a further 2 hits and a shot block for good measure.

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you certainly do need players that are willing to put their body on the line and it appears the Boston Bruins have one such player in Nick Ritchie. It’s just unfortunate that he’s bringing so little else to the table right now.

He held a near team worst relative Corsi For last game, with only line-mate Kuhlman and Zdeno Chara looking worse in 5-on-5 situations. Right about now he’s doing himself no favors with his game play and really should be sat.

There’s no reason Bruce Cassidy shouldn’t bench him for a game, give him a chance to refresh and hopefully come back with a little more zing offensively.

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Seeing so little ice-time surely makes it easy for Cassidy to pick someone else to do his role. Even if the replacement fails to perform, it’s not like we’re talking a first-line player.

Statistics courtesy of Frozen Pool and Natural Stat Trick.