Help May Be On The Way For The Bruins

Giphy Images.

Roughly a quarter into the NHL season, the Bruins have basically been a middling team that looks like it will be battling for a Wild Card spot as the season winds down. Though only a couple of points back and with games in hand, the Bs haven't resembled the squad of the last handful of seasons and have hardly inspired confidence in their fandom. Of course when you lose your all-world second-line center (who could be 1C on many teams) and one of the best goalies of the last decade, your team is going to suffer.

Charlie Coyle is certainly a fine player that does a lot of things very well but he's not the savvy playmaker that David Krejci is. Nor does he have the chemistry with Taylor Hall that Krejci seemed to have instantaneously with the #1 overall pick from 11 years ago. The team's 1-2 punch up the middle suffers without #46.

And while neither Jeremy Swayman or Linus Ullmark have been bad this year, their collective play isn't indicative of team that has designs on a lengthy Cup run in the quickly-shrinking window of the Patrice Bergeron era. One of them could get into a groove in the next few weeks and establish himself as the #1 guy. But like Willie in BAD SANTA said, "Wish in one hand, shit in the other one, see which one fills up first."

ESPN's Sean McDonough mentioned on Friday's telecast that Tuukka Rask would be skating regularly with the idea of linking back up with the only NHL team he's ever suited up for. Don Sweeney confirmed as much today.

If Rask and the Bs come to a contract agreement, and there's really no reason they shouldn't, then the Finn could re-join the squad early in the new year to shore up the crease. The team could then send Swayman to Providence with no risk of losing him on waivers and have Ullmark as the back-up. This would be the most welcome scenario for the Bs and their fans (save for the anti-Tuukka dummies).

A similar situation with Krejci could happen as well. The Czech stud returned to his homeland to play there this season. But there remains the possibility of him joining the Bs after his season ends in March/April (depending on playoffs). If that were to happen, the Bs would have a similar roster to last season but with a beefed-up bottom six that shouldn't get bitched around in a playoff series.

So while things are less than ideal in Bruins World right now---coach in protocol, most productive player sussied, guy asking for a trade---the prospect of Rask returning in 2022 would have a huge impact on the team and its play. Adding Krejci would be a productive, two-way cherry on top. In the meantime, they need to tread water and stay within a few points of playoff range. Or go rip off five, six wins in a row to give them some breathing room. But at least some help appears to be on the way.

A few more buds for your "Holy shit, it's already December" bowl…

I was surprised to see Brad Marchand get three games for what the DOPS deemed a slew-foot on Vancouver's Oliver Ekman-Larsson. We've certainly seen much more glaring examples of the dangerous play this season that warranted only fines. (Cue Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation"…)

Marchand had a comical exchange with Ranger Artemi Panarin in Friday's game that saw the Russian Rag get in his inner Steve Carlton on. The Bs forward was asked about it today…

There was some early chatter about the league taking action on Marchy about what he said. We actually talked about this on today's Chiclets. What is crossing the line when going after a guy's homeland? What could you say about a country that would warrant a suspension? Fortunately the league did nothing. Except fine Panarin for chucking his glove.

*Jake DeBrusk has requested a trade. It's been awhile since he's been a happy Bruin but the request going public was still somewhat of a surprise. It also doesn't help his trade value from the Bruins vantage point. He has 3-3--6 in 17 games and hasn't been the same affable and energetic presence we saw just a few years ago. 

I'm not sure what the Bs would be looking for in return for the pending-RFA given the situation. They have enough bottom-six guys. They don't need another lower-pair D-man. To get a top-six guy in return, they'd need to sweeten the pot. My guess is that if they do indeed trade him, they get a pick/picks in return.

Ottawa has been mentioned as a potential partner because the two teams apparently tried to work out a trade this summer. And Edmonton is getting thrown out there as well due to Jake's dad's connections to the team/area. But the thing about trades is that guys often end up where nobody expects them to. And just because a player requests a trade doesn't mean the team is going to or that something is imminent (see: Vladimir Tarasenko). Whatever the Bs end up doing with Spidey, we'll always have Toronto…