The 2018 trade deadline has come and gone, and to the surprise of many the Boston Bruins made a big splash. Don Sweeney went out and acquired Rangers star forward Rick Nash. In exchange the Bruins sent back center Ryan Spooner, Matt Belesky, Ryan Lindgren, and a 2018 first round pick and a 2019 seventh round pick. The cost is a bit high, but there is no denying that this trade makes the Bruins substantially better. But how much better does this make the team, and what’s their ceiling now?
Rick Nash’s Impact
It was on full display last night against Carolina- Rick Nash makes the Bruins a much better team. Nash potted his first goal as a Bruin as well as saving a goal with a great individual effort. Basically the Bruins traded Ryan Spooner for Rick Nash on their current roster. Anyone who watches the game of hockey knows that Ricks Nash is just an all around better player. Nash has always been a bit of a disappointment in his career, never really living up to the hype he had coming in as the number one overall pick. But on the Bruins Nash is not tasked with being the guy he is a second line winger. This could benefit Krejci more than anyone else, as he thrives when he plays alongside a big talented winger.
Maybe the biggest asset that Nash provides to the Bruins is his flexibility. Now Bruce Cassidy has a ton of flexibility up and down the lineup. If the Bruins get into a high tempo game, Cassidy can roll three offensive lines that can keep pace with the opposition. But if the game starts to get heavier, Krejci and Nash are more than fit to handle the grind it out atmosphere. On top of that, Cassidy can bump up Backes to the Krejci line to create a real heavy proven line.
The Bruins acquired a few other smaller players at the deadline. Trading for Nick Holden, Tommy Wingels, and signing Brian Gionta. On the surface these moves like rather insignificant moves in the big picture. But each of these three players are proven veteran players with playoff experience. A team who intends on making a deep playoff run is bound to lose a few bodies to injury. Adding veteran depth instead of being forced to call up a player from Providence who would not be ready for the moment. Sweeney is ramping up for a deep playoff run and has made all the moves he can to help this team win.
Unfortunately for the Bruins they have a gauntlet that lie ahead of them. Toronto in the first round followed by a potential matchup against Tampa Bay. Who could be waiting in the conference finals? Washington, who has owned the Bruins, or Pittsburgh, the two time defending Stanley Cup Champions? The Bruins’ ceiling is way higher now then it was a week ago or even a few days ago. But the road to the cup is grueling. The Bruins ceiling is a Stanley Cup, but whether or not they can hit that remains to be seen.