The Bruins opened the season with an impressive 4-3 victory against the reigning Western Conference champions. What was most impressive was how the young kids played. Both McCavoy and Debrusk scored their first NHL goals and looked more than comfortable playing at the highest level.
But a home-road matchup with Colarado ending with the Bruins getting outscored 10-3 was quite sobering. The Bruins looked outmatched against the Avalanche, both offensively and defensively. Much of the early season struggles on the defensive side are due to the absence of Selke winner Bergeron, and Backes. Right now, the Bruins look lost out there.
Age vs. Experience
McCavoy has been solid defensively, but mistake prone with his outlet passes and caught flatfooted on a couple of occasions against the Avs. That’s expected from a young defenseman. But it shows a lot about McCavoy’s confidence level that he will even try those outlet passes.
A beautiful example of the talent and touch McCavoy can have on his outlet passes was a subtle but effective breakout pass to Marchand against Arizona. While the play didn’t result in a goal, it did show something Bruins fans have waited for — a talented young puck moving defenseman.
Carlo hasn’t been as flashy this year, but continues to be solid overall defensively. So why would the Bruins struggle defensively if their young defensemen have been solid? Simple, the lack of experience up and down the Bruins roster.
For years the Bruins have preached layers. But now with Cassidy running the show, and the sudden overhaul of young talent on the roster, it’s much harder to close teams out. While the young players are promising, the Bruins have reached a saturation point.
Everyone wants to see the kids. Just watching McCavoy, and Debrusk set up Anders Bjork for his first NHL was worth a parade. But with youth comes, well stupidity. That’s of course expected from a bunch of 20-year-olds playing on the biggest stage. Correct that stupidity by surrounding them with proven leaders. But right now the Bruins lack that calming force.
They desperately need a veteran on this team. Not necessarily a big name, just a proven player. Purcell was the perfect candidate, a player with past success and a proven professional. While they might not put up the big numbers, their effect on the character of young players is invaluable .
Bergeron has been sorely missed, but just adding Bergeron won’t fix enough. Sweeny should bring in a veteran and soon. Because while youth is great, too much of it can dig a deep hole early in the season.