BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins currently sit second in the Atlantic Division as they head into their Tuesday night tilt against the Blues in St. Louis. But while their 47 points may be enough within their division, they’d be on the outside looking in at a Wild Card spot.
So any slip in the standings would be a dangerous dance for the playoff-starved Bruins. The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich to discuss the current state of the team, and said the B’s don’t have many options when it comes to shaking things up.
“I don’t know about a shakeup. It’s just the reality of where they are. They have a lot of good, young players, who if they hit their projections they should be pretty good players in a couple of years,” said Shinzawa, noting prospects such as Charlie McAvoy, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Jeremy Lauzon. “But by then, where are you? Where is [Patrice] Bergeron in his career? Where is [David] Krejci in his career?”
Shinzawa warns fans against hoping too much for a big trade, which just doesn’t happen very often in the current NHL.
“It’s so hard for teams to make trades because of cap issues and because of parity and expansion,” he explained. “If you look at this roster, it’s just not as good as where it was before. They still haven’t replaced [Dougie] Hamilton. They’ll never replace what they traded away in [Tyler] Seguin. They have no [Milan] Lucic or [Johnny] Boychuck, pieces that made the Bruins what they were: A robust, legitimate top-place contender. You haven’t recycled and refreshed the roster to the point where they can be competitive with Columbus and Pittsburgh. They are who they are in terms of fighting for that final playoff spot and might miss it for the third season in a row. That’s the reality.”
With a roster-altering trade an unlikely option, Shinzawa says to just be patient while younger players develop and work their way into the NHL level.
But Boston’s lack of options for this season may soon cost head coach Claude Julien his job.
“That’s the easiest thing right now, just because it’s so hard to trade players. I know that, as of a few days ago before they beat Florida 4-0 and before the overtime loss to Carolina, as of that point management hadn’t taken that off the table as one of their options. They haven’t eliminated it as a possibility, so they’re studying it like they’re studying everything,” he said of the team dismissing Julien. “You’re limited in what you can do, in terms of management, but that’s always something a team can do.
“If the team starts sliding and you fall several points out of that playoff window, it’s certainly something that’s on the table,” he said.
Fluto also discussed the NHL’s war against fighting. Listen to the full interview here: