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The Bruins’ 9 priorities after the commerce deadline: Load administration, lineup tweaks, repair the PP, extra

BRIGHTON, Mass. — As of Monday, the Bruins have been 19 factors away from the Maple Leafs, the second-place group within the Atlantic Division. Wins aren’t their precedence within the 20 remaining video games. They might costume their AHL roster and nonetheless end in first place.

That stated, the Bruins nonetheless have issues they wish to obtain between now and Recreation 1 of the postseason:

1. End in first place total. The Bruins are 26-2-3 at TD Backyard. It’s the NHL’s greatest residence file. They might be happy to start out each spherical at residence.

2. Give Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway and Tyler Bertuzzi each alternative to acclimate. Orlov’s Washington-to-Boston transition has been superb. He’s been higher on the left facet. However the NHL’s First Star of the Week (three objectives and 9 factors in 4 video games) has held his personal on the proper facet too. He ought to proceed to enhance as he turns into extra snug within the Bruins’ zone protection.

Coach Jim Montgomery has praised Hathaway for his defensive consciousness. That will even get higher with extra reps. Offensively, Hathaway has two assists in 5 video games. His timing on the forecheck will sharpen as he settles in with Tomas Nosek, his more than likely heart.

Bertuzzi will want essentially the most break-in time of the three, being the latest arrival. 

3. Relaxation the celebrities. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci didn’t observe on Monday. The Bruins have been off Sunday and won’t observe Tuesday. This offers the highest two facilities three straight days off the ice.

As for video games, Bergeron and Krejci will more than likely not see back-to-back motion, particularly when journey is concerned. 

For instance, the Bruins host the Lightning on March 26 and play in Raleigh the next day; at Pittsburgh on April 1 and at St. Louis on April 2; and at residence in opposition to the Devils on April 8 and in Philadelphia on April 9. These are good alternatives for the veterans, in addition to every other gamers needing breathers, to sit down.

4. Decide the place Bertuzzi performs. The ex-Purple Wing provides Montgomery choices. He can play each wings. He can play a featured function in addition to a bottom-six place. 

Bertuzzi was a superb slot in his debut as No. 3 left wing subsequent to Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. Montgomery could have a look at Bertuzzi because the No. 1 proper wing subsequent to Bergeron and Brad Marchand. His tenacity on the puck and sharp hockey sense would make him an excellent match for the everlasting tandem.

Bertuzzi might additionally take reps on the second line with Krejci and David Pastrnak. He performs with extra edge than Pavel Zacha, which might give Krejci and Pastrnak extra working room.

As for particular groups, Bertuzzi has a net-front residence on the No. 2 energy play previously occupied by Nick Foligno. Montgomery plans to include Bertuzzi into the penalty-killing rotation.

5. Cross their fingers on Foligno and Taylor Corridor. Neither is anticipated again earlier than the playoffs, per normal supervisor Don Sweeney. However the Bruins are constructed to play into June. The deeper they go, the extra possibilities they provide the left wings to come back again.

6. Proceed the protection rotation. Thus far, Montgomery has been constant in sitting Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, Brandon Carlo and Derek Forbort. Assuming good well being, the sample is unlikely to alter. For now, Montgomery has no plans to sit down Orlov, Charlie McAvoy or Hampus Lindholm. It stays to be seen which defenseman would be the odd man out come Recreation 1 if the Bruins are at full power. Grzelcyk is the possible further defenseman.

7. Optimize Linus Ullmark for a future. A part of Ullmark’s success is the presence of Jeremy Swayman, each as a help goalie and as a competitor. It’s tough to foretell how Ullmark (39 appearances) would carry out if he needed to carry the bodily and psychological load of Connor Hellebucyk (48), the out-and-out ace in Winnipeg. 

So it is going to be crucial for Swayman to spell Ullmark as a lot as potential by way of March and April. That method, Ullmark might be contemporary for every-game motion come the playoffs. 

8. Repair the facility play. Since Jan. 25, the Bruins have the third-worst energy play within the league (10.2 %). For comparability, the top-gun Hurricanes are at 37.8 % in the identical section. Montgomery pledged to regulate the personnel on the No. 1 unit. Bergeron, Pastrnak and Marchand aren’t going anyplace. 

However McAvoy (level) and DeBrusk (internet entrance) may very well be prone to shedding time. Orlov has proven a depraved one-timer on the facility play, albeit extra from the proper elbow than the purpose. 

9. Determine the Black Aces. Jakub Lauko, who scored two objectives in opposition to the Sabres on March 2, is an efficient guess to be with the varsity. Joona Koppanen, Marc McLaughlin and Chris Wagner is also within the combine up entrance. On protection, Mike Reilly and Anton Stralman might rejoin the Bruins within the playoffs when the wage cap goes away.

(Prime photograph of Linus Ullmark and Patrice Bergeron: Derek Cain / Getty Photos)

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