this Boston Bruins Currently, he has played 15 games in the regular season of the 2021-22 season and his record is 9-6-0. Therefore, it is fair to start discussing which players’ teams have a slow start.
Not surprisingly, the stars like Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy And David Pasternak continued to rule their opponents. However, the depth of the team has once again become a major topic, and it seems that it will never disappear. This is still true even after Boston made a lot of changes to their lineup during the offseason, but most notably, their top six.
This season is still very young, so it certainly makes sense to say that these three specific players can turn things around after the season is over. In fact, one can even say that some people have shown signs of improvement recently. However, even in this case, there is no denying that, for some reason, things did not go smoothly.
In the first 11 games between Eric Howrah and the Bruins, he only contributed one assist. With this, his only score was in the season opener against the Dallas Stars. From here, the 30-year-old center has not been on the list for 10 consecutive games. Based on this winning streak alone, it can be said that he has a slow start in the new team.
However, his struggle seems to be about to change. In the past four games, Howrah has scored a goal and assisted once. Although this is not enough to erase the very cold beginning he has started, it does provide some forward optimism. It’s just a matter of him continuing to produce from here at a similar rate, but more importantly, to avoid another terrible offensive drought.
The Bruins signed Howrah in the offseason to help strengthen their mid lane depth and provide a new look to the team’s third line. In the 2020-21 season of the Nashville Predators, he scored 9 goals in 51 games and scored 21 points. He also scored 24 points in 48 games between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers the previous year. Therefore, it is hard not to believe that he has the ability to bounce back from here. The Bruins desperately need such a work, and his efforts must be there.
Mike Reilly ushered in the best season of his career. In 55 games between the Ottawa Senators and Bruins, he has an impressive 27 assists. His previous career highest score was 12 points, but this was also the 30 games against Ottawa the previous year. Therefore, in the past two seasons, his performance has improved significantly. Therefore, the Bruins awarded him a three-year, $9 million contract in this offseason.
However, this season has not made the best start for Riley. Although he scored his first goal since the 2019-20 season, he only scored 3 points in 13 games.Of course, scores are not everything, but he is more notable Is a healthy scratch Two consecutive games. This is very worrying for the defensive player who has just been awarded a $3 million cap contract.
Now that Reilly has spent some time at the press conference, maybe it will eventually become the spark that pushes him through this difficult time. When the Bruins first got him from the Senator last season, he immediately adapted. In the 15 games since the trade, he had 8 assists and scored a positive 7. It is not far-fetched to believe that he can produce at a similar speed again, right? He is only 28 years old, and there shouldn’t be any kind of retrogression at this time. This is a player who will pay close attention to the next few games.
With the Bruins long-term defensive player Kevin Miller announced his retirement in the summer, Connor Clifton is destined to permanently replace his position in the bottom of the players. Clifton has been a deep defensive player for the Bruins for most of his career. Despite his outstanding performance in 44 regular-season games last season, the Bruins had too many defensive injuries, which allowed him to do it.
With more lineup safety in front of him this season, Clifton has also experienced quite a bit of struggle. In 11 games, he had 1 assist and a negative 4 rating. However, the negative value is a more worrying statistic, because he is mainly referred to as a defensive defender. also, He has been a healthy scratch Several times due to inconsistent games like Reilly.
Yakubu Zboril played well Because it is also used in Boston’s lineup. In his last four games, he contributed two assists and scored +3. He also showed the Bruins that he has the ability to play on the right. Therefore, if he continues to thrive and form a strong chemical reaction with Riley, Clifton may have to wait a long time before he can re-enter the lineup. It can also open the door for the Bruins, hoping to add a right-handed defender before the trade deadline.
From here, we will have to wait for these three players to rebound after their slow start. If the Bruins want to play another playoff game, they certainly need them.
Michael DeRosa is a writer for The Hockey Writers covering the Boston Bruins. Since 2017, he has written and edited many websites. In addition to his work for THW, you can also find him on NHLTradeRumors.me, BBallRumors.com, BaseballRumors.me, The Rat Trick and Kraken Chronicle.