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Bruins Overcoming Early Adversity

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Although the NHL season has only just begun, the Boston Bruins are already dealing with adversity.

The Bruins, who dealt with seemingly never-ending injuries last season, have already seen key players miss time. David Krejci was placed on the injured reserve last week and was joined by Karson Kuhlman on Monday, who is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks.

The defending Eastern Conference champions have also been without the services of Joakim Nordstrom for the past two games.

The Bruins, however, have still found ways to win.

While the Bruins are averaging almost three goals a game, they have had to rely on their top line. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has had to be creative with his lineups as the second line has been in constant flux.

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On Tuesday night, the second unit consisted of Jake DeBrusk, Brett Ritchie, and Charlie Coyle. Although Ritchie came up with a clutch goal, the trio had the worst Corsi rating of all the Bruins lines.

Although missing key players has not been ideal, it has provided opportunities for youngsters such as Anders Bjork. The former fifth-round pick began the season in Providence but was recalled before the Bruins victory against Toronto. Bjork did not record a point in his season debut but still had a strong game.

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Additionally, the Injuries may create some hard roster decisions for GM Don Sweeney. Defenseman Kevin Miller and John Moore have yet to appear in a game but have resumed skating. Upon their return, they are not guaranteed a spot in the lineup, but if they are dealt, the Bruins will most likely showcase them once they return to raise their value.

While both defensemen bring a physical and veteran presence, the Bruins depth on the blueline is one of their strengths. Where injuries have tested them is the second line, but even without Krejci, things are looking up as the Bruins have earned at least a point in eight of their nine games this season.

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Over the past few years, Jake DeBrusk has become a staple on the second line. After a slow start, he has improved of late and recorded three points in the Bruins last five games. Without one of this team’s best playmakers, DeBrusk has found ways to contribute when needed the most.

As the Bruins navigate through the rest of the season, they will continue to deal with adversity. It may not always be pretty, but if they can continue to find ways to win without key players, then last season’s bitter ending could soon be a distant memory.

 

 

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