After giving short, disinterested, and at times stand-offish answers in his pre-game Zoom call with the media Thursday, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk finally opened up about what to this point, has been the worst season of his career.
Jake DeBrusk has been a healthy scratch in two of the last five Bruins games and hasn’t lit the lamp in his last 12 games. He has just four goals and seven assists in 37 games this season. DeBrusk returned from his last stint from Bruce Cassidy’s doghouse and played solid skating on the fourth line with Curtis Lazar and Trent Frederic but still couldn’t find the back of the net.
With Charlie Coyle (upper-body) out of the lineup Thursday against the New York Rangers, Jake DeBrusk will find himself back on the third line playing right wing next to Sean Kuraly at the center and Nick Ritchie on the left wing. After being asked about that switch and a multitude of questions about his game, DeBrusk, who’s been known to be a positive teammate and one that loves the game, was asked if he’s still having any fun on the ice.
“I’ve been struggling. It’s not fun when you’re struggling,” DeBrusk said. “You try to find little positives and things like that and move on from there. It’s not the end of the world. Obviously, I’d like to do a lot more with what I can do, but at the same time, it obviously hasn’t been meant for me. I understand that my time will come. Like I said earlier, just trying to stay positive. But yeah, the game’s not fun when you’re struggling, man.”
As has been the case for all NHLers, it has been difficult for Jake DeBrusk to find an outlet to release his frustration or distract himself from his struggles and everything this unique and compacted season has brought. Thankfully he has his Dad, former NHLer, and Sportsnet analyst Louie DeBrusk to lean on but as far as locally, it’s just been his teammates at the rink and on team flights.
“I lean on my dad a lot,” he said. “I don’t really lean on too many people outside the game. It’s one of those things where you’re in isolation anyways. There’s lots of people here in the organization. My teammates obviously have been the one’s kind of keeping me going here, so it’s one of those things where you want to do it for them in the room.”
It was clear though that Jake DeBrusk is upset with himself that he hasn’t been able to return the favor to them on the ice
“You want to obviously be there for them. They’ve been there for me. I’ve been with this group for four years now and we’ve been through a lot. They understand that there’s ups and downs and everyone’s different, there’s different types of things that go on. It’s just a matter of being ready for your opportunity and doing what you can, because I know I can help this team.”