Before this season, Don Sweeney was not known for his trade deadline moves. While he has never been afraid to make a deal, his track record at the deadline was not great. He paid a king’s ransom for Rick Nash last season, which didn’t pan out as injuries severely limited his production.
While the Bruins have yet to reach their ultimate goal, Sweeney appears to have changed the narrative with Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle. The two deadline pickups have been key to the Bruins success and have raised their game in the postseason.
During the regular season, Coyle and Johansson struggled upon their arrivals. In twenty-one games after being acquired by Boston, Coyle only registered six points.
Johansson, likewise, did not make much of an impact as he was limited to ten games due to a punctured lung. While these two were not expected to be offensive juggernauts, they failed to spark the Bruins bottom lines.
In the playoffs, however, they have not only met but exceeded expectations. Unlike last year the Bruins have not had to rely on their top line. It was evident in game two as Boston received goals from five different players.
While the Bruins offensive explosion was impressive, Charlie Coyle continued to shine. In Game 2 Coyle had three assists, bringing his total on the postseason to six. The Weymouth native also has six goals –– which are tied for most on the team. He has been one of the Bruins best forwards and has come through in the clutch multiple times. Coyle’s play has translated perfectly to the playoffs as he has shined on the games biggest stage.
Additionally, Sweeney’s other deadline addition has been just as productive. Like Coyle, Marcus Johannsson was viewed as a minor mid-season pickup. In the playoffs, he has made a significant impact as he has five points in the Bruins last three games. The former Devil has improved as the postseason has gone on. He also has three goals in the playoffs to go along with six assists. Johansson has made the Bruins third line dangerous and excelled on the powerplay.
Furthermore, throughout the playoffs, both veterans have created chances in the offensive zone. They have found their scoring touch at the perfect time, giving the Bruins reliable secondary scoring. This has been essential for a team that did not have that luxury last season.
Although Coyle and Johansson are not the All-stars many fans wanted, they are exactly what this team needed.
While the Bruins playoff run has been a team effort, Coyle and Johansson have been key. In the postseason, they have taken their game to another level and excelled in every role. Although the Bruins Stanley Cup run is far from over, these two are just getting started.