On the eve of the NHL trade deadline on April 11, Boston Bruins general manager knew that if his team was going to not only make the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, but put together a postseason run, he needed to add some forward depth to the second-line behind the Perfection Line.
His history as GM of the Black and Gold has not been too kind to Sweeney with trade deadline moves, but through the end of the regular season and in eight postseason games, his trade late on the night of April 11 has had very good results.
When Sweeney acquired Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a struggling Anders Bjork and a draft pick, who knew what a deal that it would be and a steal.
In eight playoff games this season, Hall has three goals and two assists, including the primary assist on Craig Smith‘s first-period goal in Thursday night’s 2-1 Game 3 overtime victory. Not only has Hall solved the second-line wing issue for center David Krejci, he has also brought energy and spark to Krejci’s and Smith’s play.
What was silly in Thursday’s victory, was the way the Bruins dominated the play 5-on-5 against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum with Hall on the ice. In 16:37 of time-on-ice for Boston’s second-line, the Black and Gold outshot the Isles, 15-0, and had the only Bruins regulation goal.
Hall has brought a different look to the Bruins second-line and to think, it only cost Boston Bjork and a draft pick.
Lazar has also been a key pickup in the deal and solidified the fourth-line for the Bruins. In eight postseason games this season, he has averaged 12:06 of time-on-ice, has registered 30 hits, and is 22-for-32 at the faceoff dot for a not-too-bad 59.3%.
As the Bruins and Islanders get ready for Saturday night’s Game 4, it’s still tough to believe that Boston got Hall and Lazar for Bjork and a draft pick.