Who Are These Guys?

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The Boston Bruins roster is utterly unrecognizable from that of their opening day squad they dressed in Washington almost two months ago. The B’s have been injury plagued since the first game of the season and have lost several missing pieces for long stretches of time.

Names like Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Colby Cave are becoming more familiar with Bruins fans than hometown favorites like Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara. While the thought of this may sound frightening to the casual Bruins fan, not all hope is lost for this banged up roster.

Photo courtesy of Stanleycupofchowder.com
The Bruins rank a dismal 27th in the league in Goals For (GF) they have played outstanding defense and enter Saturday leading the NHL in Goals Against (GA). There is reason to believe that these injuries could lead to some positives for the Boston Bruins.

The main concern about this entire run when missing major names like Bergeron, Chara, McAvoy and Carlo is the potential to lose a great deal of ground in the standings. The season is a marathon and not a sprint, but the Bruins cannot afford to play mediocre hockey for multiple weeks at a whack, the season would be lost. Luckily, this has not been the case yet.

The mangled Bruins roster is 4-1-1 over their last six games, an impressive record for any NHL team. What is even more exciting about this? New faces are getting NHL experience and logging serious minutes to place in their repertoire. Ryan Donato tallied the game winning goal in a shootout on Thursday night against the New York Islanders. Donato had recently been demoted down to the Providence Bruins to find some confidence and his game. No doubt a game winner will help the young winger continue to find his stride in the NHL.

Young players are not the only ones who are finding ways to step up as the team continues to mend. David Backes, although not fully living up to his offensive potential has been playing with an increased intensity as he has been used on multiple lines including the fourth unit. Backes needs to continue to play hard and show the young talent how to play the game the right way. David Krejci has seventeen assists and is finding ways to facilitate offense for his teammates. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak continue to produce as they get used to being centered by men not named Bergeron.

Tuukka Rask has been standing on his head since his minor hiatus from the team a few weeks ago. Rask is beginning to look like a former Vezina Trophy winner as he has earned his first back to back start in a while and is projected to get the nod Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings. Jaroslav Halak continues to be a very above par option as a backup with an 8-3-2 record and a Goals Against Average hovering around 2.06.

As the Bruins enter the month of December we can only hope that the team can stay in contention as we await the return of the everyday players. However, meaningful experience will add to the depth and character of the 2018-19 Bruins. This will not likely be the only stretch of season in which players from Providence need to come up and help the big team. The more players like Colby Cave get the chance to play with All-Stars like Marchand and Pastrnak, the greater the possibility of them helping out later in the season.

Brandon Carlo could be back in the lineup as early as Saturday against Detroit, and McAvoy will hopefully not be too far behind him. So it is promising for the team and fans that help is clearly on its way. The two defensemen have been missed by the team as they are excellent at creating offensive opportunities from the blue line.

Without a doubt the Bruins will get the offense clicking somewhere down the line, even if it is not until they are at full health. If the goaltending and defense can continue their hard nosed play, the Bruins have a real chance to stay alive in the Eastern Conference as they fight to return to the playoffs.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Who Are These Guys?
Who Are These Guys?
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