The way things have unfolded thus far this offseason, the Boston Bruins are in a dire situation on the back end.
That’s no exaggeration given the overall depth at the NHL level, and given where Boston currently sits on their narrow depth chart. Even more specifically, the need is for big, heavy and rugged style defensemen that are suddenly missing in large part from the Boston Bruins roster. First it was Kevan Miller retiring in a move that was expected after battling through chronic knee issues last season and then it was 6-foot-2, 210-pound Jeremy Lauzon getting plucked from the roster by the Seattle Kraken in Wednesday night’s expansion draft.
That’s the subtraction of two premier stay-at-home defensemen that kill penalties, do all the dirty work in the defensive zone and bring toughness and intimidation to the table for the Black and Gold. With Zdeno Chara also gone too, obviously, after being pushed out of the Boston picture last season, the Bruins are lacking way too much toughness and heaviness on the back end.
It’s going to easy to play the Boston Bruins as currently constituted and that is very bad news for any hockey team with Stanley Cup aspirations.
If you want a picture of what things might look like on the ice, just envision Game 5 against the Islanders when a pedestrian Isles PP torched the Bruins for a pair of PP goals with both Miller and Carlo missing from the penalty kill, and Lauzon playing with a surgically repaired hand after a blocked shot in the first round.
It’s part of the reason the Black and Gold moved aggressively to lock down Brandon Carlo with a six-year contract last week. It’s also something that brings a clear mandate that the Bruins need to get a strong D-men yield on the free agent/trade market in the next few weeks. Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney admitted that they probably need at least two more pieces on the back end at this point, and those will need to be all-purpose defenders with bite and PK ability.