Now you're probably reading the headline and going back over it to make sure you got it right. You did. You thought the Boston Bruins were a menace this season. After all, they are currently sitting in third place in the Atlantic division with 84 points, en route for the postseason. Yet again, last night, they managed to record another win, managing to score four unanswered goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit and defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on an overtime goal by Charlie McAvoy. On top of that, the Bruins were playing without center Patrice Bergeron, who is sidelined at least two weeks with a fractured bone in his right foot.
And that's without talking about their activity prior to the trade deadline this week. We cannot forget how the Bruins made a splash on the trade market, acquiring star forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers. The Rangers acquire Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, prospect Ryan Lindgren a first round pick and a second round pick in exchange for Nash.
They did not end there, and went on to sign veteran forward Brian Gionta to a one-year, one-way contract for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.
With the additions of both Nash and Gionta, it appears as though Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is gearing up his squad for a lengthy playoff run. And, to be fair, it's clear to see why: his team has been the NHL's hottest over the past two months. While the 39-year-old Gionta may not add much offensively at this point in his career, there's no denying his versatility and his experience. He could be a very valuable player for the Bruins down the stretch and into the postseason.
That's all good and fun for Bruins management and fans, but according to the Hockey News, they still managed to end up on the losing side of the trade deadline this year. Which will most likely cause them to be on the losing side in the playoffs as well. Brutally honest we know... Here is how Ken Campbell explains it:
"The Bruins are losers for the same reason the Rangers are winners. Rick Nash at the deadline? To give up that kind of haul for a pending unrestricted free agent who has put up decidedly pedestrian offensive totals each of the past three seasons is taking quite a risk. And the Brian Gionta signing was a tough one to figure out. The guy couldn’t even play in the Olympics. We get that veteran leadership is important in the playoffs, but if you’re getting to the point where you have to rely on Gionta, you’re probably in trouble already. The Bruins, who did such a good job this season proving they were a contending team, took a step backward."
Championships are hard to win and the Bruins will also have to keep in mind that they might face off against the best team in the NHL this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who according to Campbell again, are clear winners at the deadline as their Atlantic division rival picked up Ryan McDonagh at the deadline.
"Already the odds-on favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference, the Lightning used their embarrassment of riches in picks and prospects for immediate help in Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller. McDonagh bolsters an already formidable defense corps and still has a year left on his deal and Miller more than makes up for the loss of Namestnikov. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has done an excellent job straddling the dual tracks of winning and drafting well, and because he has done that he was able to make this deal with the Rangers," explains Campbell.
It sure looks like the Bruins are in more trouble than first thought...