With the NHL season on lock-down the Boston Bruins have now gone 66 days without a game. The team's last contest was a 2-0 win against the Flyers in Philadelphia on March 10th. If the season resumes in any form, it will be interesting to observe which players perform well out of the gate.
It is probable that the skilled offensive players, such as David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci will need at least a couple of games to get their touch back. Deadline additions Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie will also need some time to get readjusted to the Bruins' system. This stoppage might have thrown Tuukka Rask out of his rhythm as well.
While this season suspension will definitely hinder some players, there are three skaters that could really benefit from the time off.
At 43 years old this added rest will absolutely aid the captain. The Bruins would have managed his minutes down the stretch, maybe going as far as to sit him out a game or two. The Bruins need Chara to handle heavy playoff minutes against fierce offensive firepower. Any extra time off for Chara at this stage of his career will benefit him and the Bruins during the postseason.
On March 5th in Florida Carlo left the game with an apparent upper body injury. It was later determined he suffered a concussion. Carlo told NESN on April 5th via zoom he was probably going to sit out one more game before returning. Carlo did not play in the last two Bruins games before the season was suspended.
Obviously this additional time off is helpful for Carlo. He has suffered unfortunate injuries late in the season that kept him out of the playoffs before. Now over two months removed from the concussion, he should be ready to stymie top offensive opponents whenever the season resumes.
This break came at the right time for DeBrusk. He was not productive over the month before the league shutdown. He had mustered just one point in his last 14 contests. From February 9th through March 10th he had one goal, no assists and was collectively a +/- -6.
He had been bounced from his usual position on the second line winging David Krejci. Bruce Cassidy had moved him to the third line as Charlie Coyle’s winger. The Bruins best lineup is when DeBrusk is flanking Krejci on the second line, but he had not been playing well enough to keep that spot in the lineup.
Maybe a fire has been lit under Debrusk and this break was just what he needed to find his game. After this layoff look for DeBrusk to do everything he can to earn back his spot on Krejci’s hip.
While every hockey fan wishes the Conference Finals were being played right now, hopefully the Bruins can find something good from this break.
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