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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

How injuries could destroy the Bruins’ season

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Bianca Oppedisano
David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins shoots a puck. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

The Boston Bruins have looked far from their typical selves as of late and that is mostly due to injuries to guys like Hampus Lindholm and David Pastrnak. Since Lindholm has been down, there have been more defensive breakdowns; since Pastrnak has been out, the Bruins power play has been nonexistent. I haven’t felt this bad about a Bruins power play since the Claude Julien years.
Luckily for the Bruins, help should be on the way sooner rather than later. Both Pastrnak and Lindholm have been practicing with the team and could make their return over the weekend or on Tuesday. Obviously, it is a great time to get these guys back, but one could argue that there has been damage done to this team that can’t be undone.
The damage I am referring to is confidence. Brad Marchand has not looked like himself at all in the month of April, as he hasn’t scored in over 20 days. This could be partially due to the fact that Pastrnak hasn’t been able to help the power play over the course of this month. It feels like the only guy who has been scoring on the first line of late has been Jake DeBrusk, as he has five goals in the month of April. 
There is also the confidence of rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman. A month ago, it seemed like Swayman was the consensus number one goaltender on the team and that they would go with him in the playoffs. However, in the month of April, he has a 3–4 record with .896 save percentage. This is partially due to the fact that he had to fill in for an injured Linus Ullmark, who was having a great month. Most recently, Swayman allowed three goals on 31 shots to the Pittsburgh Penguins, as Casey DeSmith recorded a 52 save shutout.
Just to show you how much the Bruins miss guys like Lindholm and Pastrnak, before getting injured, Pastrnak and the Bruins were 8–2 in their previous 10 games. In Lindholm’s only seven games played for the Bruins, he recorded four points and the team was 5–2. Since both of them have been gone, the Bruins are 3–4 and are trending downward with just five games remaining on the schedule.
This shows that the Bruins are a team that can’t afford to lose any of their top players in the playoffs. If Boston is losing to teams like Ottawa and Detroit with just one or two missing pieces, then there is no way they will be able to weather the storm if an injury occurs in the playoffs. Either a prospect would have to step up or someone will have to play injured. This team is showing they are not built to withstand injuries, so getting healthy will be vital with the season coming to a close.
With the standings beginning to take shape, it is expected that the Bruins will likely rest some of their veterans to make sure they are healthy and more refreshed going into the playoffs. This could give some of their prospects a chance to prove themselves. First round picks John Beecher and Fabian Lysell could get some time in the next few games. Beecher is a bit more likely to get a look because he is already making an impact on the AHL level. He is more likely to be a bottom six forward if he plays. Lysell might get an opportunity after the WHL season ends. He is more likely to get top six minutes, as he has a much higher upside.

About the Contributor
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator