The Boston Bruins have been one of the most surprising teams in the NHL this year. Currently second in the Atlantic Division, with an overall record of 33-11-8 and 74 points. For a team that was written off and thought to go into a rebuild, the Bruins have proven that they are not done, and ready to make a deep playoff push. They’ve been one of the hottest teams of late in the NHL.
The team is led by center Patrice Bergeron, who is making his case for the MVP race. In 47 games played, Bergeron has 24 goals, 22 assists, 46 points and a plus/minus of +26. The former second round pick of the Bruins has led by example this season.
The other big reason for the team’s success is goaltender Tuukka Rask. Rask has been extremely good this season boasting 22 wins, eight losses and four overtime losses in 35 games played. The former first round pick of the Toronto Maple Leads has re-established himself as one of the top goalies in the NHL. The Finnish goal was acquired by Boston in a deal that shipped out former NHL goalie Andrew Raycroft, in one of the biggest one sided deals in recent NHL history.
Now getting to this year’s deadline. The Bruins are seemingly primed for a Stanley Cup run with the team they have now. Though I believe they will be buyer at the deadline, it would not surprise me if they stand pat. Should they look to add to the roster, I don’t believe they will make a huge splash; they will more likely look to add a cheap rental player who can immediately step in and contribute.
A few players that could be on the Bruins’ radar could be Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ian Cole, who could step right in to the top four pairings and provide solid contribution. The defenseman has three goals, eights assists and 11 points this season.
If the Bruins add to the offensive side, they could look in two places. The first being the Vancouver Canucks. Winger Thomas Vanek is on a one year deal and is a candidate to be moved at the deadline. The Austrian Winger has been a shell of his former top scoring self when he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres but has been productive this year for Vancouver. He owns 15 goals, 22 assist and 37 points this season.
The second place the Bruins can look to is Edmonton. Mark Letestu is a veteran centerman who could provide some relief on the third or fourth line for the Bruins. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, and with the Oilers toward the bottom of the league, they will likely move him to bring in something for him instead of just letting him walk at the end of the season. Letestu is someone who can come in and give minutes and help mentor younger players. Letestu owns 8 goals, 9 assist and 17 points this season.
It will be interesting to see what will happen at the deadline. Whether the Bruins stand pat or pick up a rental player, look for them to continue to play well and make a Stanley Cup run.
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