The Bruins went into a three-day break between games at 9-1-2 and as one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
Can they keep it up?
One person who believes they can is NHL on NBC analyst and former NHL coach Pierre McGuire. Right off the top, co-host Ken Laird asked McGuire if the Bruins are as good as their record indicates.
“Yeah, they really are that good and I think the biggest reason why they are that good is they obviously have one of the top lines in the league with Bergeron, Pastrnak and Marchand. They’ve got a stable goaltending position with Halak and Rask. The defense is vastly undervalued. Around the league people don’t know enough Matt Grzelcyk, they don’t know enough about Torey Krug. They know a lot about Zdeno Chara but they don’t know enough about Brandon Carlo. They don’t even know that John Moore and Kevan Miller are still available down the road. I mean this is a really well-built tea from Donny Sweeney.
“It’s something I’ve been saying for a long time, so it’s not just being a Monday-morning quarterback. I’ve been bullish on the Bruins for a long time. And the big reason why is the kind of maneuvering that Donny’s done both at the draft and at the professional level. You know the acquisition of a Chris Wagner, the acquisition of a Charlie Coyle so that he’s slotted properly. You can look at a lot of things they’ve done since Donny’s been there, it’s been really good.”
Among the many bright spots on the Bruins so far has been Charlie Coyle, the South Weymouth native who’s become a strong two-way center for his hometown team. McGuire believes Coyle’s comfort has led to his success.
“Well I’ve always been bullish on Charlie. And he had a bunch of different coaches in Minnesota. But the thing that is mind-shattering to me is, it’s not that long ago where Charlie was playing in Minnesota and he had almost 20 goals. I think he had 21 [in 2015-16>, [18 in 2016-17>. And they couldn’t find a consistent spot for him. They weren’t sure if he was a winger or if he was a centerman. And I kept saying play him at center and slot him properly and you’re going to have a really good player.
“And I think Charlie now is solidified in terms of his role with Boston and how he’s being utilized by coach Cassidy and the rest of the staff, and I think he’s comfortable.
“But there’s something else that needs to be said. It’s like being a kid that grows up in Montreal, you play for the Montreal Canadiens, you play a little bit bigger, you play a little bit faster, you play with a little bit more enthusiasm. I think there’s a lot to be said for Boston guys coming back to Boston.”
McGuire also weighed in on Torey Krug’s contact situation with the Bruins, whether Sweeney will need to make a move before the NHL trade deadline, and he broke down what’s been going on with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs.