The Boston Bruins have started the season 1-0-1, scoring and allowing four games apiece. With 43-year-old Zdeno Chara now with the Washington Capitals, the Bruins are relying on some homegrown defensemen to step up.
Starting the season in a two-game series with the New Jersey Devils, the Boston Bruins started Charlie McAvoy alongside of Jeremy Lauzon. McAvoy played a tad under 12 minutes on full-strength situations, with Matt Grzelcyk seeing time in more high-pressured situations during the contest. The two 23-year-old players showed inexperience at times and allowed five scoring chances. Clearly that is not a perfect scenario moving forward. The Bruins like to mix their lineup frequently and Jeremy Lauzon was guaranteed to see ice time whether Chara was on the team or not.
Eyes are also on Jakub Zboril, drafted in 2015 and has yet to be a mainstay in the defense. He’s been back and forth from Providence of the AHL but it appears this season the Boston Bruins will give him plenty of chances to stick on the NHL roster. Coach Bruce Cassidy was impressed with Zboril’s first game and played 19 minutes paired with Kevan Miller. The team allowed only two shots during his time on the ice. It must be noted, however, that Jakub Zboril did not play against the Devils best, matching up only on the third line. But it’s a step in the right direction for Zboril.
Should Zboril or Lauzon falter at some point, 25-year-old Connor Clifton could be moved to the left side despite having been moved in and out of the lineup last season. Clearly there will be some highs and lows for the young defensemen. The schedule only gets tougher from here against higher quality opponents, so they will be forced to elevate their game quickly.