3 Boston Bruins' on the hot-seat entering pivotal Game 3 against the Florida Panthers

Some Boston Bruins should be feeling the pressure ahead of pivotal Game 3 against the Florida Panthers Friday night.
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Charlie McAvoy

I mean, he has to be hurt and playing through an injury, right? That’s the only explanation that can explain the way Charlie McAvoy has looked so far in the playoffs. Seriously, if he’s not dealing with an injury or even an illness, then his play has been very concerning.

Through nine games, he is a minus-2 and it feels like that it could be and maybe should be higher. He’s turned the puck over many times, his passes are sometimes off, his body has taken a pounding and he is looking to pass a lot more than he is getting pucks to the net. All of this has led to a head-scratching postseason run so far. He if isn’t better in all facets of his game, then the Bruins are in big trouble.

Jim Montgomery

Ok, so yes, Montgomery doesn’t lace up the skates and play nearly 20 minutes a night, but he has the say as to who does and some lineup changes must be made. Remember back to Game 5 against the Maple Leafs? Putting Swayman back in goal is a no-brainer, but there needs to be a bit of a shake-up in the bottom six and on the blue line.

As I wrote yesterday, Jakub Lauko should be in the lineup just for an energy aspect as when he plays, he’s good on the forecheck, causes pressure on the opposing team's defense, and plays a good 200-foot game. On defense, Kevin Shattenkirk has been very steady in the playoffs and brings a presence on the power play that could get that unit going. Derek Forbort, who missed over two months following surgery, played well, but he doesn’t give you what Shattenkirk does. 

Regardless of who is or isn’t in the lineup, the Bruins face a pivotal Game 3 Friday night at home as the winner of the game will take a huge 2-1 series lead and move that much closer to a trip to the Eastern Conference Final.