The Boston Bruins enter Thursday’s matchup with the New York Rangers hoping to return to their identity. They established some building blocks in the 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday, yet their 3-5-2 stretch in their last 10 games provided plenty of concerns for Don Sweeney.
The sixth-year general manager spoke to the media during Boston’s off-day on Wednesday. He touched on various topics, from injuries to secondary scoring issues and his approach to the April 12 trade deadline.
It’s clear the Bruins need help. The lingering secondary scoring issues are rearing their ugly head.
For now, Sweeney will keep the search in-house in hopes of evening out his lineup. Zach Senyshyn earned himself a recall following a strong start in Providence. But time isn’t on the Bruins side here. They need production outside of the potent top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.
Otherwise, Sweeney will have to look at other options, primarily within the trade market.
“We’ve got Providence…Some guys that have played well that we have to shake things up. I think we will do that and understand that the expectations haven’t changed,” Sweeney said. “Our group has played well, but not quite good enough and scoring has been the Achilles heel up until this point. Hopefully, we can find it from within, or I’m going to have to make a move to bring in support.”
Senyshyn hopes to bring the Bruins some support in the interim. He earned his callup following a torrid start in Providence, tallying nine points (five goals, four assists) in 11 games.
The Bruins hope Senyshyn can bring that scoring touch from Boston to Providence. At the very least, they want the Ottawa-born forward to use his speed and assertiveness on the attack and in the defensive end in a fourth-line role with Jack Studnicka and Sean Kuraly.
“He’s certainly played a good two-way game down there. He’s killed some penalties and been on the power play. So he’s playing in all situations, which is good for his confidence. He’s probably at the stage of his career where he should be doing that, and that’s one of the reasons he’s here is because he’s played well down here.” Cassidy said of Senyshyn’s season in Providence.
“The message to him is to basically do what you do best and do what you’ve been doing — is being assertive. I understand he’s been taking pucks to the net, and he’s taking his shot to the net…be effective if you’re [the first forward] on the puck and create some uncomfortableness on the D, and play good hockey away from the puck.
Thursday will mark the first time that the three 2015 first-round selections — Senyshyn, Jakub Zboril and Jake DeBrusk — played together in an NHL game. DeBrursk returns to the lineup after Cassidy scratched him from the lineup during Tuesday’s tilt in Long Island.
No doubt, Cassidy and the Bruins need a better effort from DeBrusk. But they need all 20 guys to work as one in an attempt to break out of this offensive slump from the blue-line sparking the transition game to the forwards establishing a fluid attacking zone presence.
The Bruins could still use some outside help in the secondary scoring department between now and April 12. For now, it’s up to the internal options to shake things up and help the team return to its winning ways.
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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