Yeah, I went there. The Bruins are missing the physicality that has given them such a big advantage over other teams, especially come playoff time. The one thing the Bruins were always missing was speed and play making. Now that they have it, they’re missing the physicality. Can a guy like Looch help us right now?
Not goons, but they certainly play a role
David Pastrnak has become royalty in Boston because of his play to start the season. He’s joined Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron in the group of guys that give other teams an extra incentive to hit. If you lay a good hit on a playmaker, maybe they won’t make quite as many plays. So far this year it seems to be David Pastrnak that has a target on his back more than anybody. With Pastnak having just gotten fully recovered from a wrist injury that hindered his play for so long, he’s finally the dangerous weapon that he was always expected to be. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before the hits really start to take a toll on Pasta. That is unless somebody steps up.
The issue is that the Bruins don’t have a single guy who can focus enough on protecting the skill players. David Backes has always been that type of guy, but he’s gone through numerous concussions in his career, so his fighting days are probably in the rear view mirror. Zdeno Chara is always able to hold his own, but he’s also on the Bruins top defensive line, so the Bruins can’t afford to lose any more D than they do already. Should Don Sweeney put emphasis on physicality at the trade deadline?
More than one option
With the Bruins two biggest needs being secondary scoring and physicality, why not try to bring in somebody who can bring a little bit of both to the table? Wayne Simmonds seems like an absolutely perfect fit for this team. Simmonds is in the last year of his contract, after signing only a one year deal with the Devils last offseason. Simmonds 20 goal seasons seem to be behind him, but when you’re on the ice with David Krejci, your chances of scoring a goal increase. That, along with the fact that Simmonds is always a threat to lower his shoulder and make a hit, and the fact that he’s willing to drop the gloves, can make the Bruins a better hockey team in more ways than one. Even if he doesn’t help the secondary scoring, he still brings value by being able to bring the Bruins a competitive edge physically while protecting the skill players.
Looch reunion seems unlikely
While it would be awesome to see Milan Lucic back in a Boston Bruins jersey, it doesn’t quite add up. Looch certainly played a huge part in the Bruins 2011 cup run, and was even a big piece during our run in 2013, Lucic is currently locked in a $6 Million per year contact until 2022-2023. Another issue with the contract is that he essentially can’t be moved due to his modified no trade clause, and his non movement clause. Looch is on pace to have a better year than he did last year, but that still isn’t quite worth $6 Million for more than one season. Unless we see a buyout from the Oilers, or unless the Oilers are willing to part ways with him for cheap, and also take on his contract, it seems unlikely that Milan Lucic leaves Edmonton anytime soon.