BOSTON – The Boston Bruins bounded strong out of the gate to start the regular season, and it appeared early they were 100 percent correct in the youth movement implemented during the offseason.
Jeremy Lauzon stepped into Zdeno Chara’s massive shoes as a big, strong and physical shutdown defenseman pairing with Charlie McAvoy. Jakub Zboril formed a bond with Kevan Miller as the third pair and the former first round pick showed promise and poise as an efficient puck-moving defenseman just coming into his own.
Trent Frederic was a hockey force throwing his body around, drawing opponents into penalties with an agitating style and actively dragging the Bruins into the battle that clearly helped elevate their play. Even Jack Studnicka showed some early promise that he might be able to step into a top-6 winger role after it became apparent the Black and Gold aren’t going to get much out of an injured Ondrej Kase this season.
It was an undeniably big factor in the Bruins jumping out to a 10-1-2 start to their season.
The Bruins essentially looked like the same, old Eastern Conference force they’d been in the preview few seasons despite the subtractions of Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug from the back end. Puck prognosticators started believing that the B’s hadn’t skipped a beat despite significant roster changes.
But few things are permanent for a hockey club during the NHL regular season, and that goes doubly so in this odd season with a compacted schedule and COVID Protocol challenges.
Now the Bruins are in the thick of it playing every other night, the intensity is beginning to elevate in the second half of the season and those promising young players are experiencing consistency issues amidst the heavy workload.