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Boston Bruins Trade Deadline in Review

Boston Bruins Trade Deadline

The Boston Bruins trade deadline moves were celebrated by many in the hockey community. They addressed all of their needs without heavily mortgaging their future. The additions of Taylor Hall, Mike Reilly, and Curtis Lazar have clearly rejuvenated this team. Boston’s play has changed incredibly in just a few short weeks, partially in thanks to the play of those three. How did the trade deadline take a team that looked lost, and mould them into one of the most intimidating teams in the NHL?

Trade Deadline Reinvigorated the Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins needed new life breathed into the roster. The team as a whole was devastated with injuries, particularly the blue line. Some players stepped up and filled the roles well (looking at you Jeremy Swayman), while others couldn’t fill the roles that were needed. While the team was still able to put together a few wins, they struggled to find the consistency that had graced them in the first few weeks of the year. Now with a few more roster additions, they appear poised to go on a deep playoff run.

The Big Guns

Taylor Hall is everything the Boston Bruins could have hoped for at the trade deadline and more. Hall was brought in to play alongside David Krejci on the second line. He appeared to be the best answer Boston has found to fill that role. Hall has greatly surpassed expectations. Everyone knew that Hall was having a down year with the Buffalo Sabres. He clearly was not a good fit with the team. He was averaging a meagre 0.46 points per game with the Sabres. Granted it has only been seven games since Hall joined the Bruins, he is still generating an impressive amount of offence with six points in seven games.

That has not been the only highlight from Hall’s recent addition to Boston’s roster. His play on defence has been unprecedented. The Bruins brought him in to score. But his commitment and willingness to play defence are unexpected. His backchecking has been critical in many circumstances, and in some cases, has broken up two-man breakaway chances. Hall is a different player since arriving in Boston. His addition has allowed Bruce Cassidy to rely on more than just Boston’s big three.

Commitment on Defence

If you asked a random hockey fan what the best thing is about Mike Reilly, there’s a chance they won’t even know who that is. Reilly is having an excellent year and has proved the Boston Bruins made the right move at the trade deadline. Since joining the Bruins roster, Reilly has excelled as a puck-moving defenceman. In seven appearances in black and gold, Reilly has four assists. While the offence he has provided has been great, it hasn’t been the best thing about him.

The best thing about Mike Reilly is that you don’t notice him on the ice. For a defenceman, that’s the best thing you can ask for. Reilly has not been noticeable in the defensive zone. If you don’t notice him, it means he is doing all of the right things. The stats back it up as well. Reilly has a Corsi For percentage of 61 in the last seven games. His all-around play has been incredible and Boston got him for a good price.

Bruising Bullies on the Fourth Line

A punishing fourth line has always been a staple of Bruins’ hockey. Some incredible players have filled that role in past years. The Merlot Line was critical in Boston’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2011 with Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, and Daniel Paille. Curtis Lazar has helped Boston build a new incarnation of that unit. Alongside Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly, they are an intimidating unit to play against. While fourth lines don’t win championships on their own, Boston has a great one.

Overall, this trade deadline has turned Boston’s roster around. While recently suffered a disappointing loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the team has been good as a whole since the trade deadline. A six-game winning streak suggests that this team is trending in the right direction. Winning in the playoffs isn’t always about having the best team. It’s about getting hot at the right time. The Bruins appear to be doing just that and it could lead to success down the stretch.

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