By James Galvin
The “Big Bad Bruins” is phrase that, in the past, was associated with the style of play of the Boston Bruins team. However, with all the recent injuries, especially to the defense, you have to wonder if the ‘bad’ is going to take a new meaning.
Torey Krug is the latest victim of the Bruins defense team to go down, and perhaps he should change his name to Kruger, since this defensive situation is quickly turning into a nightmare (see what I did there?).
But all jokes aside, the laughing and smiles might be short lived for a Bruins team that now is without their Captain, Zdeno Chara, defenseman Kevan Miller, the aforementioned Krug, and Johnny Boychuck, who was traded to the Islanders.
As of this past weekend, David Krejci was out with an ‘undisclosed injury,’ and Bruins head coach Claude Julien was quoted as saying that there is “no timetable for Krejci’s return to the lineup,” according to an article by ESPN Reporter Joe McDonald.
Allow me to play devil’s advocate for those who are in official ‘panic mode’ for their Bruins.
Yes, the Bruins current starting defensemen include names like Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky, and Joe Morrow, all players from the Providence team, but let’s look at who still is playing.
Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, and perhaps the most underrated Bruin, Carl Soderberg, aren’t hurting. They are starting to find their offensive game, as Marchand scored two goals against Buffalo last Thursday night. Let’s also not forget about some young offensive players who have played key roles early on in this season, mainly Seth Griffith and Matt Fraser.
It’s also worth noting how overall weak the Eastern Conference is. Despite the rival Canadiens, and perhaps the Penguins, there aren’t any other proven Eastern Conference teams for the Bruins to be concerned with.
Are we really afraid of teams like the Lighting, Maple Leafs, Devils, and Rangers? I’m not. With the weak state of the Eastern Conference, the Bruins should have no trouble nursing these injuries, relying on their key players to play as expected. A playoff spot. and perhaps even a division win, is all but guaranteed.
Personally, I look at the injury Zdeno Chara as a blessing in disguise for the Bruins.
Chara is tall at six foot nine, and a defensive monster, but he’s also 37 years old, with a lot of miles on his body. Usually in the playoffs, the complaints about Chara’s game are vocalized by Bruin fans.
Rightfully so, because his playing significantly slows down in the playoffs, mainly because he’s too worn out by playing every game in the regular season. But now, he’s forced to sit out at least a month, which could mean that, during the month of June, when the Bruins need him the most for a Cup run, Chara’s play remains consistent instead of slowing down. Thus, a blessing in disguise.
Overall, injuries aren’t ever good, and when so many key players that fans recognize and admire are down at once, it causes fans to rightfully panic.
In the grand scheme of things, with the Eastern Conference competition and the depth they have offensively, and especially at goaltender, there’s no reason to believe the Bruins will be bad record-wise, but instead be the bad Bruins we know and love them as.
James Galvin is a Comment Contributor.