Could Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney and head coach Bruce Cassidy be in trouble and will Sweeney save them and the Bruins’ season before the NHL Trade Deadline?
“That’s not as crazy a question as you might think,” a trusted NHL source told ‘Off The Record’ on Saturday. “Let’s see what happens here at the deadline and what happens down the stretch here, but one of those teams is likely missing the playoffs, and they’ve got some serious questions to ask and answer about what direction their teams are headed in.”
With the Bruins, just three points ahead of an equally sputtering Philadelphia Flyers for the final playoff spot from the East Division and the Flyers have a solid chance to cut that lead down to a point with a win over the division punching bag, the Buffalo Sabres Monday night, the heat is on Sweeney to right the ship before the NHL Trade Deadline by acquiring scoring help. If he can’t do that, many around the NHL are starting to wonder if Sweeney, more so than Cassidy, will be back next season as Bruins GM?
The 2021 NHL Trade Deadline is in two weeks and the Bruins continue to be stuck in quicksand and unable to shoot a puck into a soccer net right now. Following a second straight 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night and their fifth 1-0 loss this season, Cassidy made it exactly clear what he’d like Sweeney to do before the NHL Trade Deadline.
“We’re fighting to stay in the mix,” Cassidy said bluntly. “I think we’ve done a good job of that; we’re in every game. We are like I’ve said, offensively, I think we’re a better defensive team makeup in terms of our roster anyways, that’s why our numbers are very good defensively. Offensively, we’re not built to outscore teams but right now, we do need a little more.”
Cassidy went on to use the Devils’ goal as the perfect example of what the Bruins need to start doing if they want to score more and that’s creating offense from defense. The current price for Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm is too rich for the Bruins, mainly because they’re not interested in moving center Jack Studnicka but according to numerous sources that has only intensified Sweeney’s search for a top 4 defenseman, as well as a top 6 winger. Will he be successful before the NHL Trade Deadline? Not only is the season hinging on the answer to that question but possibly his fate in Boston as well.
Now onto the rest of your BHN Daily Links:
Boston Bruins forwards Brad Marchand, Sean Kuraly, and Jake DeBrusk remain on the NHL COVID Protocol list and are questionable for tomorrow’s rematch with the Devils (NHL)
The Bruins will definitely be without goalie Tuukka Rask again on Tuesday and likely defensemen Kevan Miller and Brandon Carlo. (Boston Hockey Now)
Did the Bruins get screwed out of a win or at least a chance at a point Sunday night? My partner-in-crime Joe Haggerty has more. (Boston Hockey Now)
The Bruins now have even stiffer competition for a top 4 defenseman on the NHL Trade market as the Florida Panthers have likely lost defenseman Aaron Ekblad (Florida Hockey Now)
Despite going just 0-1-1 over the last week, the Bruins still moved up a spot in the TSN Power Rankings (TSN)
The Montreal Canadiens added another Stanley Cup winner to their roster, acquiring Eric Staal from the Sabres last Friday but the leadership of 2007 Cup winner Corey Perry has already been huge for the Habs. (Sportsnet)
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Pete DebBoer showed why he’s still one of the best coaches in the NHL on Saturday (Vegas Hockey Now)
Finally here’s your Murph’s Music Pick of The Day in honor of the UMass Men’s Hockey Team making the Frozen Four!