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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Bruins Season Not Going As Planned

Bruce+Cassidy%2C+head+coach+of+the+Boston+Bruins.

Bruce Cassidy, head coach of the Boston Bruins.

Things are not going as planned for the Boston Bruins. For anybody who watched last year’s series against the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins were expected to make a large leap forward, particularly with defense. Their future was looking bright with intriguing prospects on the blue line, like Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. However, the problem from last season remains: a lack of offensive depth. The Bruins have two 30-goal scorers in Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, but outside of that, the Bruins simply have not made the jump that many were expecting from them.
The Bruins were starting to become recognized for some of the young, but very raw, talent that they had in their prospect pool. Jake Debrusk, Anders Bjork, and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson are the names often mentioned when discussing the Bruins future offense. Debrusk and Bjork are the only ones to crack the NHL roster in a meaningful way—Forsbacka-Karlsson only played one game with the Bruins. While Debrusk and Bjork have shown flashes of being productive NHL players, they are just not as far along as many felt they would be.
It is encouraging that Bjork has earned the opportunity to play on a line with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. If nothing else, this displays the confidence that head coach Bruce Cassidy has in his young winger from Notre Dame.
Both Debrusk and Bjork have shown promise in their small sample size of NHL play. In his first 16 games, Bjork scored three goals on nine points, while Debrusk averaged half a point per game, with nine points in 18 games. These are solid numbers for rookies, but the Bruins need scoring now, not in the future.
Pastrnak and Marchand are both doing their part to carry the offense. Marchand is averaging over one point per game, with eight goals on 15 points in his first 15 games. Pastrnak continues to show just how much potential he has, with 10 goals on 17 points in 19 games. With how quickly Pastrnak became a top NHL player, it is easy to forget how long it takes most young players to reach the level he is at. However, the Bruins are in need of additional scoring, and there really is nobody else who can contribute in that kind of way. Sure, Bergeron is always a presence, but he can’t light the lamp the way the Bruins need him to, at least not while he’s contributing on defense the way he does.
The Bruins’ problem can be placed on one of two fronts: either a lack of scoring or troubles in net. Tuukka Rask’s problems have been talked about plenty, so at this point one must understand that this is just who he is. Since the Bruins don’t have the ability to make a real change in goal, the answer must come from depth scoring. If the team wants to make a leap forward this season, the only way that will happen is with contributions from young players or via a trade acquisition of a big-name talent. Either way, the Bruins are still a team built for the future and not the present.