Before the NHL trade deadline Taylor Hall and the Boston Bruins both looked like they were desperate for some major changes.
Hall needed a different team and another fresh start after a miserable season in Buffalo, both individually and on a team level.
The Bruins needed another scorer to balance out a lineup that has been too reliant on just one line.
It has only been two games but so far it looks like both sides are already getting exactly what they needed.
Hall scored a goal for the second game in a row for the Bruins on Friday night in a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders, helping him match his total in three games with the Bruins versus what he did in 37 games with the Sabres.
The Bruins are now 3-0-0 since the trade that brought them Hall and Curtis Lazar, outscoring their opponents by a 10-3 margin. The past two games, though, have been the most impressive as they completely dominated a very good New York Islanders team that is ahead of them in the East Division standings. Boston controlled the past of both games with Hall and Lazar combining for three of the Bruins’ seven goals in the two wins.
If Boston is going to make some noise in the playoffs this season that is exactly what they are going to need.
All season the bulk of the Bruins offense has come from the trio of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand. When those three are not on the ice or carrying the offense, there has been nobody else to do it. Even though Hall had a terrible run in Buffalo, there is plenty of evidence that he should be able to bounce back (high shot numbers; low shooting percentage due that should increase with some better luck).
But while Hall and Lazar have made contributions offensively, the Bruins have also been able to get some major minutes out of their other — and perhaps more overlooked — addition, defenseman Mike Reilly.
Reilly has played more than 22 minutes in each of his first three games after being acquired for a late-round pick from the Ottawa Senators and has been great in those minutes. The returns are early, but so far it looks like Don Sweeney should be pretty happy with the moves he made. Especially when it only cost him Anders Bjork, a second-round pick, and a seventh-round pick.