With the Bruins currently not playing as I write this, I sit here and ponder: where is the best fit for Sean Kuraly in this lineup? With Bruce trying new lines of late, where exactly does he fit in? The center has been a mainstay on the Bruins fourth line, but he has since seen himself playing on the wing next to Charlie Coyle. The Bruins seem to be in flux right now as Bruce tinkers with the lineup. There is a case for Kuraly to stay put at both spots, but that isn’t ideal for obvious reasons.
When you look at his game as a whole, you see he is a excellent defender in his own end, and that is more evident with his time on the penalty kill. Kuraly has been a mainstay at center on the Bruins fourth line with Joakim Nordstrom and Chris Wagner at his wings. What we have seen of late though has him playing in Danton Heinen’s spot on the third line with Par Lindholm sliding into the fourth line spot. The Bruins haven’t missed a beat with this switch as Kuraly is a good puck possession player that blends well with Coyle and Bjork. What makes everything so interesting here is what will the plan be going forward with the trade deadline.
The Bruins will certainly be looking for a upgrade at wing. But do they go big fish hunting or go with depth? The play of Kuraly could determine what they do. Let me be crystal clear here, I am not saying he is Patrice Bergeron, but if the Bruins like him alongside Coyle and Bjork do they just go with a fourth line grinder? The fourth line is often overlooked by fans but play a pivotal role in a team’s success. Remember last year how valuable they were in the Bruins run? The Bruins first round series changed when when Kuraly came back from injury.
The Bruins have options in this lineup with the bottom six. The Bruins strength is right down the middle of the ice. Do I trust Par Lindholm in the playoffs? No, I don’t. All the more reason, in my opinion, to keep Kuraly at his original spot on the fourth line. There is a big lingering question right now: will the Bruins address a right winger for Krejci? In my opinion, that is something that generally gets the same response. A resounding”Yes!”. But like I have been saying for awhile now. David Krejci likes paying with Karson Kuhlman. That very well could mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, but who really knows? The Bruins will likely make a move though in some capacity . The masses probably won’t like it and it’s not really a surprise that they will not.
We know the names by now: Chris Kreider, Tyler Toffoli, Kyle Palmeri, Blake Coleman, and <insert player here>. You get the idea. The latest rumblings we have is Joe Thornton may be coming back. How do you really feel about that? When you look at it without nostalgia in your eyes, where does he fit in the lineup? Do you put him at third line center and move Charlie Coyle back at 2RW? That move for me doesn’t work, as my preference is Coyle staying put. Where does that leave us then with Jumbo Joe back here? How about the initial spot of Sean Kuraly back at the 3rd line wing again? Would Joe like playing fourth line minutes with little power play time?
There is a lot of commotion going on right now with the trade deadline approaching. We haven’t seen much of Danton Heinen of late. In fact, he has been scratched in 4 out of the last 6 games and that put Bruins Twitter at odds, as Heinen is is one of the most maligned players on this roster. You either love Heino or you loathe him. There is no in-between with him. The Bruins very well could trade him, But then again, Bruce Cassidy could be sending him a message. The Bruins aren’t always the easiest team to figure out, but I have faith in the front office.
The Bruins are still one of the best teams in the NHL right now, so there is no need to panic. As of yet. We have twelve days until the trade deadline for the Bruins to make a move. Will they make a move? Who do you want here? Those of you who follow me on Twitter know who I want. For those of you who don’t know, it is Tyler Toffoli. I feel very strongly that he will fit in perfectly next to David Krejci. With that being said, expect someone else being here. The Bruins are known for throwing out names of players and then not trading for or signing that player. Remember how Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson weren’t even discussed and the next thing we know, they are wearing Bruins jerseys? The other big name is Chris Kreider, but I don’t have a sense he ends up here, due to the current talks he and the Rangers are involved with. There are quite a few players who will be on the move soon, so buckle up with news and rumors.
The trade deadline is like Christmas morning for us hockey fans. Here is hoping we all get who we want here. There will inevitably be happy and unhappy people after it is over. We should expect the unexpected though, such is the life of a hockey fan. That is all for now. The Bruins are deep into the season. Let’s hope for happy results going forward.