The Bruins just entered a very challenging stretch of schedule in their season and it won’t get much easier. Injuries happen to every NHL team, and most recently in a crazy ratio, but they have been the main problem for the Bruins for years now.
Last season Boston was heading into playoffs without players like Torey Krug, David Backes and many more were banged-up. Bergeron missed one game, Riley Nash or Matt Grzelcyk did too, top pairing of Chara and McAvoy went to play shortly after their major injuries from the end of the regular season.
New season started for the Bruins with “just” one injury and that one to Torey Krug. Everyone else was fine! It lasted like…. Ten games? Charlie McAvoy went down with concussion, same with David Backes, Kevan Miller broke his thumb, Urho Vaakanainen got concussed as well. Last week Brandon Carlo suffered an upper-body injury, then on the road trip which just finished Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and John Moore all went down.
New season, same difficulties
Chara will miss approximately four weeks with knee injury, Bergeron same amount of time with rib injury. Big Zee is the Bruins captain, Bergeron is on the waiting list, he will take over the captaincy from Chara one day. And they both went down and out at the same time and for an extended period of hockey season. How could the Bruins survive their absence? (And an absence of like another hundred bodies…)
Bruins have played three games in these circumstances so far and they have not done a poor job, pretty much otherwise, they grabbed four out of six available points. In all games on the road, in Dallas, Arizona and Detroit, the Bs never trailed and gave up just five goals in total (they gave up six goals in one game solely vs Colorado last Wednesday before these last three meetings).
Goaltenders and defencemen seemed to play with lot of urgency. For the first time in this season, the Bruins did not commit a penalty, that happened against the Red Wings two nights ago. That is certainly a huge help, when you just don’t give your opposition the power-play opportunity. Strong defense has to be stronger than we are used to with these guys.
Main keys to track down the success
Secondary scoring is next on the chart. Bruins got two goals from Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (maybe he can repeat Chytilmania known in New York?), his first two goals in his NHL career, Noel Acciari picked up his first point of the season with an assist on JFK´s first career tally, Chris Wagner scored a goal in Detroit, just his second goal of the year, assisted by Sean Kuraly and developed by fourth line.
Bruins will surely not get a ton of production with their newly constructed forward lines after that Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak trio breakup. But the need to play like grinders and keep those upcoming games at very low-level, keep them boring and you are just fine. Til Christmas Boston plays twice against Montreal, twice against Toronto, they visit Florida for two roadies within their division, play Buffalo or Nashville among others.
It will not come up easy. They don´t come easy, but the most important thing is that they keep coming. That is the mentality the Bruins have to adjust to. They have to help each other, because most of the time it is Chara or Bergeron to lead the way. Now it is a next man mentality.