That changes on Sunday.
Bruce Cassidy confirmed that both Haula and DeBrusk will be healthy scratches for Sunday’s matchup with the Vancouver Canucks. Trent Frederic will make his return after dealing with a concussion and Karson Kuhlman slides back into the lineup.
It will be the first time this season that Haula or DeBrusk miss a game.
Cassidy is sending a clear message to the two Bruins
Depth scoring has continued to be problematic for the Bruins and the third line has been part of the problem, not the solution, this season.
In 17 games, DeBrusk has three goals and three assists while Haula has just a goal and two assists.
DeBrusk was already in the hot seat coming into this season, with trade rumors swirling last season and in the summer as he enters his final year of his contract. He looked strong early on, but seems to be slacking off.
It isn’t the first time DeBrusk has watched games from the press box. He was healthy scratched a few times last season with his play dipping. Cassidy isn’t waiting around this season to see if DeBrusk gets going, he’s sending a message early. Cassidy had this to say before Sunday’s game.
"“I’d like to see him impact the game with his foot speed every night. We’re starting to see that drop off again.”"
For Haula, he was brought in to solve the secondary scoring problem, especially in the bottom-six. He signed a two-year, $4.75 million contract with Boston, coming off a 21-point season in Nashville. Well, he’s currently on pace to post close to a career-low in points for a full season with 15 projected points in 82 games. Not exactly helping the issue at hand.
Something had to give, and with a matchup against a struggling Canucks team, it makes sense to pull the trigger on this now. With Frederic coming back, someone was going to be the odd man out and guys like Anton Blidh have shown they deserve to play while the third line has been ineffective as of late.
Hopefully this message resonates with Haula and DeBrusk and we see a change in their play going forward.