The Boston Bruins still have a lot of room to improve on defense.
When you enter the season without Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara, you know you’re going to be in some trouble. When you enter the season with no replacement for them, you’re in a lot of trouble. The Boston Bruins defense showed themselves in their Game 1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Between Charlie McAvoy assisting on a New Jersey goal to the young guns not looking anywhere near prepared, Bruce Cassidy has some work to do.
Let’s talk about McAvoy. He had the most to lose when Chara signed with the Capitals. Chara took McAvoy under his wing and assisted in the development. With his departure, there was no real replacement waiting to take the former captain’s spot. To start the night, number 73 was paired with Jeremy Lauzon. That experiment lasted all of 12 minutes before the juggling began.
There isn’t an easy answer here. Matt Gryzelyk should slot in with McAvoy, but you need him with a player like Brandon Carlo, since he plays such a similar game to Krug. It makes sense keeping Miller on the third pair and possibly shuffling him in as time goes on. I don’t think that you’re going to find your answer within players like Lauzon or Jakub Zboril.
Oliver Kylington would’ve been a great snag when he was on waivers earlier this week. Unfortunately, Don Sweeney didn’t take the bait. There were rumors of Ben Hutton signing with the team as well, but that never happened. Hutton was released from his PTO yesterday, so there is still a chance.
Kevan Miller Returns
Kevan Miller played his first NHL game in 651 days. Miller had an unfortunate string of injuries that included a broken larynx and a broken knee cap. Twice. He looked good out there in his first game back. In one of his first shifts, he was throwing hits and making it known he’s still got it.
His physicality will be needed with the absence of Chara. I firmly believe we will see more of Miller as the season progresses.
The Boston Bruins went on to win 3-2 in a shootout. Their next game is set for Saturday at 1:00 pm EST in New Jersey.