Going into the 2014-15 campaign, the Boston Bruins were in a tough cap position and trading a defenseman seemed like the best way to address it given their deep blueline. Their circumstances have changed though and now the Bruins have expressed an interest in acquiring a defenseman, according to the Providence Journal’s Mark Divver.
The Bruins have been hit hard by injuries lately and are consequently missing defensemen David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug, and Zdeno Chara. The only silver lining is that Krug might be able to return on Monday.
This would naturally be less of an issue if the Bruins had found a way to stay under the ceiling without trading Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders on Oct. 4, but that’s being said with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.
Significant trades at this stage of the season are not unheard of, but they are rare. That being said, it’s not clear what the Bruins are looking for and they might be more interested in a stopgap measure that can help ease the team through this period until some of their regulars are healthy enough to play.
The Boston Bruins received more bad news on Sunday as David Warsofsky will miss the next two-to-four weeks with a groin strain and David Krejci is day-to-day. Embedded in the latest injury updates though was a glimmer of hope.
Defenseman Torey Krug (finger) took part in Sunday’s practice and thinks returning on Monday is a possibility.
“Yeah, definitely,” Krug told the Bruins’ website. “It’s realistic, it’s something that we’ve just got to talk about and make sure I feel comfortable with it, the coaches feel comfortable, and it’s going to be a group decision.”
The Bruins could use all the help they can get as they’re also missing defensemen Kevan Miller and Zdeno Chara on top of Warsofsky. If Krug can’t play, then Matt Bartkowski might come out of the press box after four games as a healthy scratch.
“He dug himself a hole, and now he’s got to dig himself out of it,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, per CSN New England. “You only get so many chances, right, where if you keep failing then you go back up to the press box. It’s all about attitude. I think Bart has had a good attitude in practice, and he’s been working hard. I don’t think he’s hanging his head. He’s still a good teammate in the dressing room.”
Amid all of the Bruins’ injury woes, they’ve still managed to win their last four games. They’ll try to make it five when they face New Jersey.
Zdeno Chara. Torey Krug. Kevan Miller.
And now, David Warsofsky.
That’s the full, updated list of injured Boston blueliners — the latest, Warsofsky, was announced on Friday as the team said he’d be out “a while” with an undisclosed ailment suffered during Thursday’s win over Edmonton.
The Krug-like Warsofsky (still Brough’s best headline ever, by a mile) drew into the Boston lineup on Oct. 30 and has played well, averaging 17:46 TOI in four games while notching his first point of the season against the Oilers.
With Warsofsky gone, Boston’s top six blueliners project to be Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski, Joe Morrow and Zach Trotman. If that is upsetting to B’s fans, don’t fret — the team is 5-1-0 in its last six and the defense is playing so well, some think now is the time to trade Chara. I am not one of those people, for the record.
The Boston Bruins would love to get David Krejci back, but they’re not going to rush him. If that means that he can’t play against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, then so be it.
“If he’s ready then I’d want him in the lineup. Why sit him out a game if he’s ready?” Head coach Claude Julien told CSNNE.com on Wednesday. “If he’s not then I guess the weekend would certainly help him because it’s more days. That’s what we’ll have to see here. I’m going to talk to our trainers tomorrow morning, and if there’s any doubt then he won’t be playing. But if he’s okay to play then I don’t want him watching tomorrow.”
To their credit, the Bruins are finding ways to win even with significant injuries to players like Krejci and Zdeno Chara.
Still, it’s not as if they’re blowing out opponents during a three-game winning streak with overtime wins against Buffalo and Florida (along with a two-goal win versus Ottawa).
As CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty notes, it’s obvious that Boston’s offense isn’t exactly buzzing without the 28-year-old.
It’s clear that the absence of Krejci is impacting to different forward lines: the Lucic-Kelly-Griffith line went without a single shot on net in Tuesday’s win over the Panthers, and the reconfigured third line wasn’t much of a factor either. His longtime left wing in Milan Lucic undoubtedly misses Krejci, but also understands that it’s not worth pushing it in early November.
Julien alluded to a schedule that indeed seems friendly to Krejci healing up. Following tonight’s match against Edmonton, the Bruins don’t play again until Monday (Nov. 10). That provides some useful flexibility, as they can either play him tonight (knowing that he doesn’t face a quick turnaround) or give him that extra rest until Monday.
Even with these injury issues bothering him to start the 2014-15 season, the Czech-born center has been productive when he manages to play; Krejci has nine points in as many games so far this season.
Brad Marchand scored at 3:37 of overtime as the Boston Bruins improved to 4-1-0 without captain Zdeno Chara in the lineup.
Patrice Bergeron had the other Bruins goal.
Jussi Jokinen had the lone Panthers goal.
Tuukka Rask made 18 saves in the win while Roberto Luongo stopped 23 shots in the loss.