You’ve heard about it. You’ve read about it, and yes you’ve seen it. The 2018-19 Boston Bruins have been sneaking by with production from only their top line. It leaves a question as to what the organization should do. Should they go out and trade for a guy like Artemi Panarin? Or look for someone within the organization who can put the puck home? I’m not saying blow the team up, but give Anders Bjork a look inside the top 6.
The 6 ft, highly sought out forward was selected by the Bruins in 2014 with the 146th overall selection. The Wisconsin native notched 40 career goals at Notre Dame along with 69 assists for a total of 109 points amongst three collegiate seasons. In the 2017 campaign Anders made his NHL debut where he played a total of 30 games, notching 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points. He also played with the Providence Bruins, scoring 9 goals and 2 assists. You’re looking at these stats thinking: Only 4 goals? Only 12 points? Why should he play in the top 6? Here’s why.
With all due respect to Sean Kuraly, Noel Acciari, and the Chris Wagner’s of the world, Anders Bjork needs to play with highly skilled forwards in order to see his full potential. He has the speed, and the skill set to do well in this league, he just needs some help. David Krejci is amongst the leagues best centermen. He’s crafty with the puck. He finds open areas, and slows the play down to how he likes it and makes teams pay. Why not move Pastrnak to the second line to create that Czech chemistry and give Anders a shot on line 1?
I’ve seen first hand what it’s like to watch wasted talent in the bottom of the lineup. Think about it – you have a young kid, who when he was eligible to be signed was the talk amongst Bruins fans. People couldn’t wait to see him play, and fans knew he would have a scoring touch to his game. Now, Anders plays bottom 6 minutes, can’t show his skill, and waits for guys like David Backes to feed him the puck. David Backes is not the same David Backes we saw back in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Don Sweeney is a huge fan of building within the organization. He’s done a great job drafting and developing these young kids, so why not give them a shot? It saves the Bruins draft picks, prospects, and roster players to put Bjork on the top line rather than go out and acquire a guy like Artemi Panarin. It just makes sense. The Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line has been the only line we’ve seen score thus far. Debrusk has hit a slump, Heinen still needs to find his game, and Krejci is still looking for that dynamic scorer. I’d be a fan of Krejci playing with Pastrnak. Think about it.
I’m not saying Anders Bjork is the solution to all the Bruins scoring issues, but it can’t help to try talent where talent is due. Monday night, when the Bruins played the Dallas Stars, Anders was buzzing around the sheet. Creating plays, making passes, and trying to get his teammates going. He’s quick on loose pucks, can create open space, and finds ways to get to the net. Only when Anders looks to make a play up ice, it’s Sean Kuraly standing there….imagine if that player was Brad Marchand?
Two points is two points. They’re great to have especially this early in the season, but the Boston Bruins need some serious help in putting pucks in the back of the net. Anders Bjork could be a move within the organization that makes sense. So why not let the irish fight?
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