Bruins Will Rely on Their Youth in the Second Halfby Jamie Gatlin February 3, 2020 0 comments
With the second half of the season in full swing, the Boston Bruins have gotten off to a hot start. In their last two games, they have outscored their opponents 8-2 and have gotten offensive contributions from everyone. They have come out of the break as one of the leagues hottest teams as the most crucial part of their season begins. As the Bruins look to make their postseason push, they will rely on their young players such as Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, and Karson Kuhlman.
Through 48 games this season, DeBrusk has 17 goals and 15 assists. Over the last few four games, however, he has been hard to stop as the former first-round pick has three goals and two assists. He has made the Bruins second line a strength and has already tied his assists total from last season.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin1217) February 2, 2020
While DeBrusk has excelled of late, the Bruins have also received a boost from Karson Kuhlman. Kuhlman was recalled in mid-January to improve the third line and has been impressive since his return. In five games, Kuhlman has yet to score, but he does have four assists. Even when Kuhlman doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, he still makes productive plays and has been aggressive in the offensive zone.
Additionally, Anders Bjork has emerged as a productive option on the Bruins second line. In 45 games this year, the former fifth-round pick has nine goals and seven assists. The young winger has become one of the Bruin’s most trusted penalty killers and is averaging a career-high ice time of 13:06. He is also shooting the puck a career-high 15.8 percent of the time.
While Bjork’s offensive has been impressive over the past few weeks he has also improved defensively. The young winger has landed 34 hits and blocked 14 shots. His improved all-around game has given Bruce Cassidy the confidence to use him in any situation.
A good forecheck leads to Anders Bjork's 9th goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/Fy2WzGPVYy
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 2, 2020
With less than thirty games left in the regular season, the Bruins are entering the most important part of their season. General Manager Don Sweeney is still looking for ways to improve the roster, but the play of Bjork, DeBrusk, and Kuhlman, as well as Jeremy Lauzon on the blueline, has made his life easier.
As the Bruins learned last season, they cannot rely on their top line to win the Stanley Cup. They are much harder to stop when every line is contributing, which is what happened last Saturday night. Although the Bruins will rely on their veterans down the stretch for their experience they will need the younger players to make a difference. If they can do that, then another long playoff run may be in store for this roster.