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05-14-2013, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Mission Hill
I had made a long post yesterday about the need for the Bruins to revamp their defense.
Far too many times we've seen that scramble mode at the top of the crease/slot area and the defense looking like dinosaurs when they move and the puck more times than not ends up in the goal.
The Leafs exposed our lumbering defense....they can come flying down the wing and beat us. If the defense goes leaning that way, opponents cut back to the middle for a high percentage shot or pull up to the half wall, waiting for a trailer.
And our defense is slow to recover.
A PMD would be great but at the very least some agile and quicker defensemen could cover the area.
Traditionally we've built a punishing crew with big bodies banging opponents into submission but the game has changed....speed and agility is taking over.
While I love old time hockey, watching Boychuk and McQuaid can be terrifying....they are slow and sometimes look awkward lunging into space (or the boards) as they get beat trying for that big hit. Ideally having both size/strength with speed/agility would be great but only Dougie seems to have that trait....thankfully his learning curve is quick.
Now Bartkowski has surprised. His call up earlier this season showed a player with far more poise than what he had previously displayed. He's not perfect but damn he added a dimension that hasn't been on display around these parts since Bourque left....that being, (sort of like Gardiner-lite), able to hold onto the puck for a better outlet as well as having some speed and PMD qualities that are sorely needed. Being of decent size means he can't be pushed off the puck in scrums too.....
Ference has a little bit of this but he is on the smallish side and has been really getting banged up....he had a horrendous contract season and despite having a good locker room presence, may not get resigned.
Has Bartkowski's play become a catalyst for opening the door to Andy's departure? Does Andy take a hometown discount for another year or two and become a mentor in his final years?
Does the development of Dougie also see a packaging of McQuaid or Boychuk for a solid 3rd line RWer or a high draft pick to pick a solid fleet wing prospect, (I've read that this is supposed to be a good draft year)?
Either way, Bartkowski looks like he has established a solid foothold.....this is going to be an interesting off-season in an area that the Bruins need to upgrade.
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