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Andy Brickley Wants Charlie McAvoy To Take The Torch

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For the first time in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy finally played like the player so many believe he can be.

McAvoy scored the game-winning goal – his first in this postseason – and assisted on forward Morgan Geekie’s goal in a 2-1 Game 5 win for the Boston Bruins over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. Charlie McAvoy also had six shots, three hits, and four blocked shots in what was by far his best game in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Thanks to the 26-year-old rearguard stepping up when his team needed him most and another brilliant performance from goalie Jeremy Swayman, the Bruins lived to play another game. They will try to make it two straight wins and tie the series in Game 6 at TD Garden on Friday night to force a Game 7 in Florida on Sunday. The NHL betting odds of that happening are still not in their favor, but hey, the Panthers came back to beat the Bruins from down 3-1 last season!

Speaking on The Eye Test Podcast just hours before McAvoy helped lead the Bruins to the gutsy win in Game 5, former Boston Bruins forward and longtime NESN color man for their Bruins broadcasts, Andy Brickley, spoke about what McAvoy needs to do to become ‘The Next One’ in a long line of great Bruins defensemen.

“You wanted that torch to be passed, right? From [Bobby] Orr to [Brad] Park, all the way down the line, [Zdeno] Chara—you just wanted him to be the next guy, right?” Brickley asked rhetorically when discussing McAvoy’s subpar playoff performance, which saw him enter Game 5 with no goals and just four assists in 11 games in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“And he’s not there yet,” Brickley went on. “He has the potential to be there. He’s got a great physical capacity to handle big minutes. He’s got all the skills and tools you want to be an elite defenseman in this league, but there are two things missing: His maturity level. He’s not there yet. I know he’s one of the leaders of the team, and you want it to be his team in the future as one of those great leaders and captains in this storied franchise, but he needs to mature.

 

 

He needs to understand his value to the team, and his value to the team is to play with more intelligence and play smarter. Understand angles. Learn how to conserve energy by playing the right way and making an effective play. Value the puck. Don’t take yourself out of position going for the big hit. Don’t think it’s all on your shoulders that you have to do everything. Just play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”

In Game 5 though, McAvoy did put his team on their shoulders and was the leader and complete player that Brickley and so many know he can be.

“He’s a complete player. He’s a leader on our team, the way he plays, the way he carries himself, and what I respect most about him is just the way that he doesn’t allow anything to faze him,” Swayman said when discussing his teammate’s performance to the media. “He stays even keel, always positive, and a guy like that’s going to pull through in big moments. So, I think he’s just getting started, and I’m really excited to see what he does for us.”

So are Brickley and the Bruins. If McAvoy does take that torch and run with it then he will likely become a regular favorite for NHL Bettors in Norris Trophy voting.

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