The future can only get brighter for Boston Bruins young defenseman Charlie McAvoy, now more so than ever. The young defenseman seems to be struggling here towards the middle of the season. What does this mean for the defensive star?
Still plenty of time
Charlie McAvoy is still only 21 years old. There is very much a chance that he has gotten into some bad habits, even after a few years in the NHL. Whether it be being out of position, not hustling, or making costly turnovers, McAvoy just doesn't seem to be playing on the level he once was in his first year or two in Boston. He doesn't seem to have that swagger with the puck either. While I'm usually the first one to give a defenseman a break for not being good offensively, because well, he's paid to play defense, he hasn't been doing that well either.
While it is a bit concerning, there really is no reason for Bruins fans to panic. At least not yet.
When the Boston Bruins came into the last offseason they knew McAvoy was going to be a big name on teams radars. Luckily for the Bruins, they were able to find common ground and sign McAvoy to a three year contract to keep him in Boston worth about $4.9 Million per year. At the time of the contract announcement people seemed to be upset at the fact that it was a bridge deal. The average fan might not have understood the Bruins cap situation. One positive thing about a bridge deal is that it makes the players have to perform at an adequate NHL level, and do so at a consistent rate. For the Bruins, if Charlie somehow doesn't turn his game around, or get out of this "slump" if you will, the Bruins only have him on the books for two years after this season, and for a price that wont drastically hurt the team.
He'll be back
While some think the we've seen the best of Charlie McAvoy, I have a really good feeling, and faith, that Charlie is just adjusting to the game that teams are briging to him. In today's day and age, sports are completely dissect-able from the comfort of your own home. Teams see a guy like Charlie, who has been giving teams around the league trouble for some time now, and they look at the tape to learn how to beat him. Teams know what it takes to make Charlie McAvoy a non factor in the game, and they do what they have to do to execute that game plan. With Charlie being so young, there are still things that he has to learn or learn from. I think that is exactly the case here. Just a young player who's taking part in the learning curve that is the transition from college hockey to hockey at the highest level in the world.
Credit to Nesn.com for the featured photo.