Warrior Weekly: Boston Bruins are heating up


WSPN staff reporter Aiden Chitkara reflects on the Boston Bruins’ trades and makes predictions about the team’s Stanley Cup run.

Aiden Chitkara

The Boston Bruins have picked the perfect time to start playing their best hockey. With only 20 games left in the regular season, the Bruins have begun to their journey in locking up the second seed in the Atlantic Division. With the Tampa Bay Lightning dominating the league with a staggering 98 points, our hometown Bs have shifted their primary goal to holding a second place lead.

A second place finish in the Atlantic Division would put the Bruins in an exciting spot to start their playoff run, as they would likely face a rematch with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who added superstar John Tavares during the offseason. Last year, the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in game seven of the seven-game series. The Leafs will surely be bitter over last year’s outcome, which should only make the series more exciting.

Even though the Bruins have been on a hot streak recently, the franchise knows they can always improve. Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney was very active before the NHL trade deadline ended on Monday, Feb. 25, adding two quality forwards to the team.

Over the weekend, the Bruins acquired forward Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a 2019 fifth round pick. Coyle is a Boston local who grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts and attended Thayer Academy for high school. Coyle decided to stay in the Bay State by playing college hockey at powerhouse Boston University where he continued his development under Hall-of-Fame coach Jack Parker. It would be safe to say that Coyle is happy to be back in Boston.

Aside from Coyle’s local roots in the Boston area, the 26 year old adds great offensive depth to the team for both this year and years to come. Coyle has produced 10 goals and 18 assists for the Wild this season. The seven-year veteran will join former Boston University alumni Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson.

I like this move by the Bruins a lot. Ryan Donato has not been playing his best hockey recently. Donato has been a healthy scratch in many of the B’s recent games and simply hasn’t been the same caliber player as he was when he was a Hobey Baker nominee in 2018. Coyle provides the Bruins with a high-end third line center who will be a scoring threat every time he steps on the ice.

On the day of the NHL trade deadline, the Bruins traded for Marcus Johansson in exchange for two future draft picks. I also think this was a smart move by the Bruins, and not just because I made a similar trade for Johansson in my own NHL 19 video game. Whether or not Johansson resigns long-term, the team will add even more star power to their forwards. Johansson will likely play on the left wing alongside David Krejci.

The only question mark about the Johansson trade is how the former Devil will gel with his new teammate Brad Marchand. Marchand threw a dirty hit on Johansson which concussed the forward and cost him three months of his NHL career. Hopefully, the two will put their differences aside as they prepare to make their Stanley Cup run. Problems like these usually breeze over once players join forces on the same team.

I think the Bruins ultimately made the right decision by buying in before the trade deadline. There is just no way the team would have been able to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning in a seven-game series with the current roster. The combination of Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos is lethal. The Bruins have one of the best lines in the league with Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak, but that won’t be enough to win the Stanley Cup. These moves should push the Bruins over the hump and turn the team from good to great.

The Bruins gambled all of their chips by acquiring Coyle and Johansson before the trade deadline. Only time will tell if these moves will pay off.