The Boston Bruins have lost 11 of their last 15 games. Even though they still lead the Atlantic Division, their divisional lead has thinned. The Bruins are six points above the Toronto Maple Leafs and seven points above the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have two games in hand. The margin starts to become closer.
Besides, it’s not solely about the position in the standings. Despite the Bruins’ seemingly excellent positioning, there are concerns far beyond that. Their recent play and sloppiness don’t bring up much positivity for the Bruins’ fans. In their last two home contests after the New Year, the Bruins haven’t scored an even-strength goal. More than that, not many even-strength chances were created.
Where does that leave Don Sweeney, the Bruins’ general manager, with the NHL Trade Deadline approaching on Feb. 24? Before diving into any significant trade, or trades, to shake up the roster and bolster up the secondary scoring, the Bruins’ GM seeks a patient approach.
When asked about the position of Charlie Coyle, Sweeney, in an interview for 98.5 The Sports Hub, said that the Bruins are still exploring all options with him. Sweeney added that they were satisfied with Coyle driving the third line as a center in the past playoffs, though. Last game, Bruce Cassidy brought Coyle to the second-line right wing.
What about the third-line center? The Bruins, according to Sweeney, would likely see what they can get from Trent Frederic and Jack Studnicka, who continue to develop in Providence.
As for the second-line right-winger, Sweeney mentioned Karson Kuhlman, who was a factor last year in the playoffs but suffered a broken tibia in October.
The Bruins’ defensive core has been tested with injuries lately. After a rather smooth first part of the season, Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, Connor Clifton, and Matt Grzelcyk all experienced injuries.
The right-side defense has been tested with Clifton’s injury, while Kevan Miller is still out with his knee issues. If McAvoy or Carlo suffer any long-term injury problems, the situation might worsen significantly for Boston.
Don Sweeney mentioned that the Bruins are not exploring any trades involving defensive help. They still have Steven Kampfer, who has elevated his game lately, and they will have their fingers crossed about Miller returning sooner rather than later. Additionally, the Bruins have defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and Urho Vaakanainen down in the AHL.
Before exploring the trade market, Don Sweeney looks at the gentle approach and solutions from inside the organization, not outside. At least, for now.