After a four-month hiatus, the Boston Bruins will begin their Stanley Cup run in less than a week. While the lineup will be the same, the roster has been expanded to 31 players due to COVID-19.
The Bruins finished the season with 100 points and will return to play on Thursday night with an exhibition game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. As they look to win their first championship in 10 years, their secondary scoring will determine just how far the President Trophy winners go.
When the regular season was suspended, the Bruins’ top line was dominant as David Pastrnak was in the midst of a career year. Patrice Bergeron also had 31 goals, which was only one short of his career-high. While the Bruins’ top line will be hard to stop, they will be looking for other players to step up.
During the Bruins’ playoff run last year, Charlie Coyle emerged as a critical piece with nine goals and seven assists. For a Bruins offense that struggled at times, Coyle was a sparkplug. He also had one game-winning goal and four power play points during the Bruins’ playoff run.
— Boston Bruins on CLNS (@BruinsCLNS) April 26, 2019
Additionally, the Bruins will rely on young forwards Jake DeBrusk and Jack Studnicka. DeBrusk is no stranger to the postseason and has a knack for coming through in the clutch. The Bruins will need DeBrusk’s scoring touch and will require him to be fully healthy—unlike last year, when he dealt with a concussion during the playoffs.
While DeBrusk is a key piece, Studnicka could be a difference-maker in his first playoff run. The Bruins’ top prospect made his NHL debut this year and was able to record one assist in two games. Over the last week, however, he has skated alongside Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci as Ondrej Kase has been unable to practice.
Jake DeBrusk crashes the net. Jake DeBrusk scores an enormous goal. Boston is DELIRIOUS.
— NBC Sports Hockey (@NBCSportsHockey) April 26, 2018
Although Anders Bjork and Karson Kuhlman are also in the mix, it seems as if it is Studnicka’s job to lose. The young forward is a skilled playmaker and fast skater. Studnicka has already drawn praise from the coaching staff and is viewed as the Bruins’ future at center.
As the Bruins prepare for the postseason, they will be looking for redemption after falling one won short a championship last year. One of the Bruins’ main issues was their struggles at even strength. They were outscored 15-10 by St. Louis in the Stanley Cup Finals as their first line was kept in check.
This Bruins will need their secondary lines to step up with their best prospect looking to make his mark.