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3 improvements Bruins need to make after 14 games

Erin Walsh
November 06, 2018 - 4:26 pm

The Bruins are somewhat of an enigma.

Bruce Cassidy’s team is 8-4-2 with 18 points and sits in the top of the league standings, but even with the Bruins record being what it is there’s certain things that need to be improved.

Here are three things that need to be addressed as the season goes on.

1) Depth scoring

It has been 12 days since someone other than Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, or David Pastrnak has scored a goal.

Throughout the first 14 games of the season, a majority of the scoring has come from the Bruins top line. This is no surprise, considering the top line consists of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak. This line has scored 24 of the 39 goals this season.

The Bruins top line meshes together very well however, it is not the case for the rest of the offense. Only 15 goals have come from players other than those on the top line, four of those goals coming from defenseman.

The lines under the Bergeron line have yet to figure out their game, and with some line shuffling, things are very unstable at the moment. David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk have seen a slew of different wingers on their right side, making it harder to build chemistry.

The fourth line of Chris Wagner, Sean Kuraly, and Noel Acciari is pretty much solidified, as thhey play a body-banging style of hockey that seems to work for them. The David Backes line is still molding into shape. Backes and his linemates, Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen, played a great game on Monday night against Dallas, so this could be a solid line moving forward.

2) Goaltending

The goaltending situation is a heated topic right now: Tuukka Rask diehards vs. Rask haters. Both Rask and Jaroslav Halak have started seven games, although Halak has played in eight games after Rask was pulled on opening night in Washington.

The stats of the two goaltenders are a little surprising.

Halak has been stellar, playing some of the best hockey of his career. With a 1.45 goals against average (GAA) and a .952 save percentage with two shutouts, Halak has proven himself worthy of the starting goaltender position. On the other hand, Rask has a 2.78 GAA and a .909 save percentage, which is not terrible, but not great when being compared to Halak.

After letting in a soft goal in Monday’s start against Dallas, Rask seemed to feel a little more comfortable in goal. If Rask can continue to play well, and Halak pushes him to play his best, the goaltending situation in Boston will become more stable.

3) Defense

The issue with the Bruins defense is injuries. With Charlie McAvoy out, the B’s defense has had to work a little harder in his absence. Matt Grzelcyk was also out with an injury for a while, but has since returned and has played well.

Steven Kampfer would not be in the lineup right now if McAvoy was ready to go. The Bruins are also missing Kevan Miller, which is a bigger blow than people realize. Miller provides a level of toughness, tenacity, and grit that a team needs to win games.

When Miller returns, the Bruins are going to have a plethora of defenseman to choose from which is never a bad thing. Both Urho Vaakanainen and Jeremy Lauzon proved their worth and may see more playing time with Boston before the season is over.

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