BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins are not a leaky, sinking ship.
This is a team that won the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011, made the Cup Finals in 2012 and followed that up with a Presidents’ Trophy winning regular season in 2013.
We’re all disappointed with how things ended, an early round exit at the hands of the rival Canadiens, but the B’s are not in need of a major overhaul — just some minor tweaks.
The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show to discuss how the hometown team can improve going into next season.
Fixing the Merlot line, which ended the year as sour grapes rather than a fine wine, is Shinzawa’s no. 1 area of need.
“The biggest thing they need to address is the back line, specifically more speed. A little bit more skill, a little bit more mobility.”
Shinzawa referenced the Chicago Blackhawks and their fourth line, who can skate circles around most other teams’ fourth lines, including the Bruins. The gritty, grinders with high effort on the fourth line are falling by the wayside in the modern NHL, so getting better in that area is of utmost importance in Fluto’s eyes.
But how do you do that?
The Bruins may have the answers already down in Providence.
“Nowhere does it say that your fourth line has to be this big, heavy fighting line. They have some players within the organization. You look at guys like Ryan Spooner and Alexander Khokhlachev who have some skill down in Providence, and then you mix in some heavier guys like Justin Florek, Matt Fraser, Matt Lindblad that can play hard on the walls and kill penalties and do some of the gritty, in the corner stuff. I’d like to see them do that with the fourth line.”
Aside from that, Shinzawa doesn’t see much else that needs changing.
“They have a lineup a lot of general managers would like. I think their top nine is very good. Obviously you have three stars in Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask. They’re still right in the sweet spot of their window.”
Listen below for the full discussion, including the prospect of having Jarome Iginla back and much more: