50 games into the season, the Boston Bruins find themselves fighting for one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. They trail the division-leading Ottawa Senators by 4 points, but have 3 games in hand.
It was not that long ago that the Bruins were sitting at the top of the division holding a 7 point lead on December 31st. The Bruins started the season with a 14-7-4-2 record in the first two months of the year, but have faltered greatly throughout December and that has carried into January as well. While the team defense and goaltending have been the team’s strong points, they have struggled to score goals of late. In an effort to shake things up, the team made a few moves to try and right the ship.
After giving up 12 goals in three games, Boston sent their 5th round pick in 2018 to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Anton Stralman. That marked the 2nd time that the Bruins were able to take advantage of a team’s cap issue in exchange for a 5th round pick, having acquired Steen from the Blue Jackets in similar fashion during the off-season. He has played significant minutes for the team, playing in all situations.
After a lengthy stretch in which the goal well ran dry, Boston finalized a deal with Nashville to acquire pending UFA David Perron and goaltender Al Montoya in exchange for a pair of 2nd round picks, both in 2019, St Louis’ 6th round pick this year, Antti Niemi and winger Nick Jensen. The move allowed the team to rid them of Niemi’s inflated contract while strengthening their offense and upgrading their backup goaltending behind Corey Crawford. In 6 games, Perron has struggled to find his place, registering only 2 assists, but the team is 4-2 with him in the lineup.
The team hopes that they’ve found the right mix of offense and defense from here. They’ll need secondary scoring to step in and contribute a bit more, while Crawford will continually be called on to provide solid goaltending throughout the remainder of the year.