It looks like it’s not just a trend with the Boston Bruins looking for boosted offense out of their back end for next season and beyond.
While Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has been voicing a desire to squeeze more offense out of an active defensemen group dating back to last season, it’s a trend across the league from defensemen that are becoming more and more active offensively. With the Boston Bruins it’s about creating more 5-on-5 offense and finding ways to get goal-scoring beyond their Perfection Line and their lethal power play unit, it’s also about drumming up more offensive opportunities for both forwards and D-men with extra attackers and additional offensive pressure.
It’s a bit counter-intuitive for the Boston Bruins as they’re looking for more offense from their defense while also waving goodbye to their best offensive defenseman in Torey Krug, of course. But that may be part of the reason it’s a focused effort from the coaching staff moving forward for this season with Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk expected to pick up the offensive production slack.
But at the end of the day, it’s an interesting fancy stats exercise that appears to be a trend across the NHL with the Boston Bruins no different than anybody else. With teams looking to pump up goal-scoring any way that they can, the back end is a place ripe for more offensive pressure and a few more goals with the offense/defense balance always a top priority.
With that in mind, on to the links:
*Check out the statistical oddities from the 2020-21 NHL season, of which there were plenty in a season that ended on the oddest note in league history. (Sportsnet)
*How does everything shake out from a legal perspective when it comes to the new season and discussions between the NHL and NHLPA? TSN Hockey legal analyst Eric Macramella has some ideas. (Post)
*Kudos to Bar Down for putting together a hockey dictionary, but any hockey dictionary that doesn’t include the term “grocery stick” isn’t really a hockey dictionary at all. It’s one of Brad Marchand’s favorite chirps of all time. (Bar Down)
*Speaking of Brad Marchand, a good job by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Fluto Shinzawa compiling some stories from the Little Ball of Hate’s past to explain who he is as a player, a person and a competitor. (The Athletic)
*My partner-in-crime Jimmy Murphy covered this yesterday, but let me also extend a hearty congratulations to Patriot Ledger Bruins reporter Mike Loftus on his retirement after 40 years in the business. The dry sense of humor, true love of hockey & his connection to his South Shore guys are what I’ll always think of…and truly intelligent questions in the dressing room that showed he knew every inch of what he was watching. (Patriot Ledger)
*Some fun stories with James Duthie as both a young hockey player growing up, and as a hockey dad with his own kids complete with early ice times and freezing cold rinks. (OMHA.net)
*It’s amazing (and a little crazy) that it was 33 years ago today that history took place at the Garden with the Bruins retiring Phil Esposito’s No. 7 in very memorable fashion.
33 years ago today
— BOSHockeyNow (@BOSHockeyNow) December 3, 2020
*For something completely different: It feels very odd to discuss the best and worst movies of 2020 when movie theatres have been mostly closed for the last eight months, but here you go anyway. (EW)