The Bruins are riding high as of the midseason point, but things still aren’t perfect for Boston.
Right now the good most certainly outweighs the bad, but the Bruins still have plenty of room for improvement.
All three negative trends listed below aren’t very serious flaws (for now) but they are all recent trends that haven’t gone the Bruins way.
Upon first glance, each negative trend will seem like a strength, but each comes with a flip side that makes it a flaw.
Most of the Bruins rookies have hit somewhat of a wall recently, but this isn’t the case for all of them. The likes of Charlie McAvoy and Danton Heinen have been awesome, but the same can’t be said for all of the Bruins youth movement.
Jake Debrusk has been pretty quiet after a solid start to the season. He may be getting back in the right direction with a point in each of his last three games, but the six games before that he yielded a single point.
Anders Bjork hasn’t looked comfortable since returning from his injury. He started the year on the first line instead of David Pastrnak but has only 12 points thus far. The rookie was sent down to Providence on Jan. 3 after being a healthy scratch for several games.
Anton Khudobin comes back down to earth
Khudobin hasn’t been bad, he just hasn’t been as great as he was earlier in the year.
The backup netminder’s red-hot November is part of what got the Bruins season going, but he hasn’t looked as sharp as that stretch recently.
Tuukka Rask got his mojo back, so he hasn’t started as many games as Khudobin did during Rask’s slump.
His December numbers weren’t bad, but he isn’t playing at the level he was.
The defense itself is not an issue, as Boston boasts the third-best defense in the NHL, but depth isn’t strong at the blue line.
McAvoy and veteran Zdeno Chara have been awesome and while Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo had some rough patches they’ve been solid, but the 5th and 6th defenseman has been a work in progress.
Matt Grzelcyk has been pretty good since being called up, but Adam McQuaid and Paul Postma have not been reliable when called upon.
Cassidy has opted to let McAvoy and Chara eat up most of the ice time, but others are going to need to step up in the second half of the season.