CBSBostonsports.com’s Bruins writer Matt Kalman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday, and says Boston’s struggles stem from their inability to add-on to early leads.
“When they get a lead, they tend to sit back; they’re not really attacking as much,” said Kalman. “We’re seeing that with their best players not getting the chances in the second and third period – and not cashing in on them especially. They definitely need a little kick in the rear end, whether that’s a lineup juggle or a trade somewhere along the line. They have to get back to the way they were playing last year.”
“When they get these leads, they’re not dumping pucks in or going in on the fore-check. Even Patrice Bergeron, who we’re not supposed to criticize, even he made a few iffy plays when they were killing a penalty and when Winnipeg got their first goal,” said Kalman. “They’re forcing plays, thinking too much, and it’s really starting to hurt them.”
“It’s also going to start being a confidence issue… They get these leads and start to panic. We saw them protect some of their third period leads, but they did it in shaky fashion. Down the road here we’ll see a trade or two to bolster their lineup, but really it’s on their top guys playing at their best,” said Kalman. “They really need their best players to step up, and there really isn’t time to recover.”
With injuries to centers Chris Kelly and David Krejci, and with defenseman Adam McQuaid going down in Tuesday’s loss, Kalman says there will be room for a trade before the April 3 deadline — but not to expect anything big.
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“It’s not going to be a sexy trade that will send a tingle up your leg. It’ll be something like they’ve done in the past where they’ve added veteran players. When they got Kelly and Peverley people weren’t dancing in the street, but then a few months later they were,” he said. “I think with the way prices are and how many teams are in the race with the short season, it’s not going to be a sexy deal. But you’re going to see them get a couple solid role players and that’s really all this team needs. With this team’s star power they should be fine with Lucic and Chara. They just need a supporting cast and they’re just kind of thin in that department.”