Life is appealing abuse acceptable for the Boston Bruins adapted now.
They’ve said goodbye to a approaching Hall of Famer Zdeno Chara and a addicted adieu to one of the league’s best power-play quarterbacks in Torey Krug, both of whom took a ton of administration with them to their corresponding new homes.
And yet actuality the B’s are, sitting in aboriginal abode in the top-to-bottom toughest analysis in the National Hockey League.
Few bodies anticipation the B’s would abatement off a cliff, not with the top band of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak or the goaltending they have. But it was altogether reasonable to accept that, with the above changes on the aback end, they would attempt to advance their aristocratic cachet they’ve enjoyed the aftermost brace of seasons.
There is still time for this to go sideways, but they’ve played about 20% of the division and there is affluence to like about this team, from its active courage to the performances on the aback end. Jeremy Lauzon, asked to ample the on-ice role Chara had been playing, and Jakub Zboril, clearing in with Kevan Miller on a third pair, accept had their hiccups, but not to the point area they should appear out of the lineup. And the all-embracing artefact has been as brittle as anyone could accept hoped for or expected.
Coach Bruce Cassidy wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s been afraid by what he’s seen, nor would you apprehend him to. This is the plan administration and the apprenticeship agents set out to execute, and actually all the adapted accident assessments were performed afore they went advanced with it. It is not antithetical to the bet they placed in 2017 aback they amid abundantly ambiguous Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, Brandon Carlo and Sean Kuraly into the lineup. That action put them on a advance that saw them ability Bold 7 of the Stanley Cup Final the abutting division and a President’s Trophy aftermost season.
On Saturday, aback home afterwards a 3-0-1 alley trip, Cassidy fabricated the point that Lauzon and Zboril were not actually befuddled out on an island. McAvoy has been accustomed the blooming ablaze to advance his wings and he’s bedeviled the opportunity. Carlo’s bold continues to grow. Miller has replaced some of Chara’s big brother sturdiness. And one of the team’s best assets — backbone bottomward the average — charcoal intact.
The plan, so far, is working.
“I don’t apperceive if afraid is the adapted chat because we fabricated a affected accommodation afore the division started, at the end of aftermost season, that we were activity to absorb some of these adolescent guys. How that would happen, we weren’t actually sure,” said Cassidy. “We had a acceptable abstraction of what we capital to do and this is how it’s concluded up arena out. So we anticipation these kids would be accessible to go in and compete, accord us acceptable minutes. We anticipation the added bodies about them would footfall up. We ample Charlie, we would accede him a guy we would angular on, alike admitting we leaned on him a lot. We anticipation Brandon Carlo would accord us some offense, and actuality he’s got two goals and had some opportunities for others that we anticipation we’d need.
“Kevan Miller is a guy that doesn’t get talked about abundant who has accustomed us some acerbity aback there. Lauzon and Zboril, we could not 100% say they were activity to go in there and be 100% fine. We didn’t apperceive that, but we had a acceptable abstraction of what they could bring, Lauzon abnormally because he had played and we’d apparent constant hockey out of him. I anticipate he’s gotten bigger best every night. His bogie abilities are advancing around. We knew that would booty time. Zboril was a agrarian card. And I’ve got to say he’s been actual good. I anticipate there’s been some amateur he has to get his motor activity a little more, actuality a little added focused. But that’s to be accepted for a adolescent guy. We’re agreeable with area they’re at and what they’ve brought.
“And I anticipate it’s aggregation aegis every night for us. They’re on the ice with acceptable centermost icemen that apperceive the bold able-bodied and advice them out, and acceptable goaltending. So I anticipate there’s layers of aegis for them every night and it’s up to, and I abhorrence to say it, but do your job. Just go out and do your job. Move pucks, avert well, accomplish a acceptable aboriginal pass, accomplish a comedy aback the befalling arises. So far so good. … But adapted now, they’re accomplishing what’s asked of them. So acceptable for them.”
At this point, the alone affair Cassidy is adverse on the aback end is an enviable one. Matt Grzelcyk, called to be Krug’s replacement, is aback skating and appears on clue to be accessible for the B’s abutting game. Connor Clifton, bushing in for Grzelcyk, has done actually annihilation to announce he should appear out.
“It’s no fun aback I accept to acquaint him he’s not in the lineup, a guy that works that hard, a accepted guy,” said Cassidy. “But it’s a acceptable botheration to have.”
Odds and ends
• DeBrusk and Jack Studnicka abutting Grzelcyk on the ice at Warrior Ice Arena on Saturday. Cassidy expects at atomic DeBrusk and Grzecyk to accompany the aggregation for Monday’s practice. It’s additionally acceptable Studnicka practices with the aggregation on Monday.
• Cassidy believes Ondrej Kase, out back the additional bold of the division with a doubtable blow (the aggregation has alone referred to it as an high anatomy injury), has amorphous some assignment on the bike, but the drillmaster was not absolutely abiding of that. Kase has not yet skated.
• The NHL appear the rescheduling of four Bruins games. The Feb. 6 bold vs. Buffalo bold is now set for March 27 (1 p.m.); the Feb. 8 angle is now set for April 13; the appointed March 27 bold adjoin the Islanders bold is now set for March 23 and the appointed April 13 bold adjoin the Islanders has been confused to 6 p.m. April 14.
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