How Jeremy Lauzon could affect Bruins’ NHL trade deadline plans

Matt Kalman
January 21, 2020 - 1:30 pm

It’s not difficult to see what coach Bruce Cassidy and the Bruins’ brass are trying to accomplish by calling up Jeremy Lauzon from Providence of the American Hockey League on Tuesday and inserting him into the lineup in place of John Moore for the last game before the All-Star Break/CBA-mandated week off.

First Cassidy said this on Sunday after the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead and lost 4-3 at Pittsburgh:

“Guys that have offensive ability have to start playing to their strength a little bit more on our back and or we’ve got to seriously consider, you know, what type of D corps do we want.”

Two days later, after the recall of Lauzon, Cassidy had this to say before the Bruins faced Vegas:

“I want him to play to his identity. And even though he hasn’t been here a lot, what it’s been in Providence is, this year especially, playing with a lot of bite, making a good first pass, adding a little offense from the O-zone blue line. He’s willing to be assertive there. Good PK in behind Zee. That’s what we’ll miss with Johnny, he’s been very good at that, we’re hoping Lauzy can do that. A bigger body, harder to play against.”

Moore played just 10:55 in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Matt Grzelcyk was a healthy scratch three games ago. Steven Kampfer, when called upon, has been … well, Steven Kampfer (a serviceable seventh or eighth defensemen to play 10 minutes a couple games a month).

The Bruins’ third defense pair has turned into a blackhole and they might have to solve the problem from within. So with a little more than a month before the NHL trade deadline, up comes Lauzon. If he doesn’t work out, we might see Jakub Zboril or Urho Vaakanainen up here. Depending on how many assets general manager Don Sweeney is willing to give up before the deadline, the Bruins might have to decide between adding a forward or a defenseman. An internal solution to the defense problem would make Sweeney’s life easier.

Lauzon, 22, has more than 100 games of professional experience, more than a dozen of those games in the NHL. He’s a guy that can do a little bit of everything but most importantly is known for his “bite.” If he takes advantage of this opportunity, he could solve two of Boston’s problems – it’s third-pair struggles and it’s lack of physical pushback.

If the draft is the lifeblood of an organization, it’s time for another prospect, like Charlie McAvoy, Danton Heinen, Brandon Carlo and Grzelcyk did before Lauzon, to fill a hole in the lineup without Sweeney having to go outside the team for help. Or Lauzon could prove to be a valuable trade chip if the Bruins decide they want someone with more experience or a different skill set.

Not to put too much pressure on Lauzon, but this is a crucial turning point in the season for the team on the ice and Sweeney in the board room.

Lineup notes

David Krejci, who has missed two games with an upper-body injury, will be a game-time decision against Vegas. He took part in the optional morning skate Tuesday. … Tuukka Rask also skated but will remain on injured reserve. … Kevan Miller, who has been out all season, skated on his own before the rest of the team took the ice.

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