The trendy opinion regarding the Bruins is that they will struggle on defense this year, just like the past few years. But I’m here to tell you….that is “fake news”.
Sure, Zdeno Chara is 40 years old and certainly far from his prime, but you mean to tell me he still isn’t a difference maker? With his training regimen and the shape he’s in, would it shock you if he released a book called ZC33 this year? Most importantly, the infusion of youth on the back-end will allow Cassidy and the team to really manage his minutes this year as opposed to just saying they’ll manage his minutes. If he is well rested in April, look out for the big man come playoff time.
Tory Krug had his best offensive season of his career last year with 51 points. Six of his 8 goals coming on the PP while also improving his game in the defensive zone. The Bruins went 3/14 on the PP against Ottawa in last year’s playoffs, and if Krug was healthy, I believe that series has a different outcome.
Did you like what you saw from Brandon Carlo prior to his injury last year? That’s rhetorical, so don’t answer that, of course you did. How about what you saw from Charlie “Norris TBD” McAvoy? At 18 years old, his first NHL action was in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and not only did he look like he belonged, he stood out in a series featuring the best defenseman in the world in Erik Karlsson. He will be a serious Calder trophy candidate, if not, the outright winner.
Kevan Miller was noticeably improved late last season on both ends of the ice, and looks to be a legitimate top 4 guy and his stay at home nature will allow Charlie to wheel and deal. Adam McQuaid is Adam McQuaid, love him or hate him his toughness and grit gives the backend some snarl, sorely lacking in today’s NHL.
Feel good about the Defense yet? Good, because you should, it’s the Bruins strength entering the 2017-18 season.