In case you missed it, yesterday afternoon Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy met with the media for a pre-series media availability ahead of Thursday’s game opening of the team’s first round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup agains that Toronto Maple Leafs.
During the event Cassidy highlighted what he sees in a young, but deep Leafs squad and how he feels his team stacks up.
"They play with a lot of speed, so we’ve got our work cut out for us from top to bottom. They’ve got depth, they’ve got scoring ability. It’s going to be a big challenge, they’re a quality hockey club,“ said the Bruins bench boss.
More interesting though was an update not only on defenseman Brandon Carlo, but injured forwards Rick Nash, Riley Nash and Sean Kuraly. First up, Carlo’s surgery was successful, but he’s still facing a long recovery and rehab process and likely won’t play again until next season.
The news about Rick Nash, Riley Nash and Kuraly is a little more encouraging, however:
Fantastic. If the Bruins manage to get these three players back in the lineup, they’ll make the Leafs’ depth look like a shallow grave. The deadline additions of Rick Nash, Brian Gionta and rookie Ryan Donato have given this team perhaps the best depth of any team in the NHL, certainly at least in the Eastern Conference.
Bruins fans are no doubt most anxious for the return of deadline day prize Rick Nash, who has managed three goals and six points in 11 games for the Bruins since being acquired from the New York Rangers in February. The big man put up 21 goals and 34 points in 71 regular season games this season, which would place him fourth on the Bruins roster for goals scored this season behind David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
As for Riley Nash and Kuraly, the 28 year old Nash managed 15 goals and 41 points in 76 games this season while the 24 year old Kuraly has been a defensive force on the team’s 4th line, potting in six goals and 14 points in 75 games.
Any way you look at it, the Bruins will be better when all three of these men hit the ice for Game One.