After an embarrassing and disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night, the Bruins have to regain their wits and head to Winnipeg to continue a 6 game road trip. It may be hard to find any positive aspects to the Kings game. It is hard to find any positives in a game that ended 9-2. Very hard.
Claude Julien: “If anything this should create some anger and determination to redeem ourselves after an embarrassing loss”
Zdeno Chara: “I feel like we got absolutely embarrassed.”
Even though this was embarrassing, it hasn’t been the worst loss in Bruins history. The largest loss in Boston’s history was 9 goals. That happen 8 times. Most recently in 1976 against the Atlanta Flames, 9-0.
It will be nearly impossible to forget this loss, but we can look ahead to the next set of games. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, GM Don Sweeney and his staff of management need to act fast is they wish to not only make the playoffs, but to get past the first round. No forward are needed at this point. What the Bruins need to add is defense.
For a long time now, there hasn’t been a big game that has really proven that we need improvements, except for the Winter Classic. Hopefully, this game will click something in the brains of management, and push for a trade. Who that player is? No one knows for sure. There are options like Ducks d-man Cam Fowler, but no one that is on the ‘trading block’.
According to Frank Seravalli on TSN, he says that with both Dustin Byfuglien and Dion Phaneuf taken out of trading contention, it leaves very little defenseman to trade for. A while ago, Don Sweeney went to a Predators vs Flames game to scout possible defenceman trade options. Dennis Wideman seems as someone Sweeney was going to go after, but with a suspension that will take him after the trade deadline, Wideman is out of contention. But, according to Bob McKenzie, Calgary d-man Kris Russell could be someone that is traded.
Both the Flames management and Russell want to stay together, but as McKenzie states, the Flames haven’t even begun contract negotiations. Right now, Russell is on a $2.6 million contract, but you have to imagine that at 28 years of age, he will want a big contract, maybe up to around the 4 or 5 million range. With that, Calgary defensive lineup is filled with big contract. Mark Giordano’s cap goes up to $6.25 million next season, Dougie Hamilton is at $5.75 million, Wideman has one year left on a $5.25 million contract, T.J Brodie is currently at $4.5 million and Derek Engelland ($2.9 million) and Ladislav Smid ($3.5 million) have expiring contracts come July 1st.
Russell had 34 points in 79 games played last year on a solid Flames team and 7 points in 11 games in the playoffs. Now this season, Calgary isn’t doing the greatest. Meaning so far, Russell has only 14 points in 49 games. Another down side for Kris, is that he is only 5’10” and 170 pounds, making him a small defender. But, Russell set an NHL record for most blocked shots in a season as of April 2nd, 2015 with an amazing 274. This season however he has 165, second in the NHL blocked shots leaders behind Francois Beauchemin, (174).
Of course Calgary wants to keep Russell, cap space could become a big factor on whether or not a trade will take place. Kris Russell is a Calgary boy, but is playing in your hometown enough to sacrifice a few million? McKenzie also says the following:
“If I had to guess, and it would only be that, I’d lean towards it being more likely he goes to the rental trade market and free agency than re-signing in Calgary, but there are enough moving parts on this one to stop well short of making that a declaration just yet.” – Bob McKenzie
Travis Hamonic of the Islanders and Dan Hamhuis of the Canucks were also mentioned in the article. But Hamonic will most likely be kept due to the Islanders needing defense. And Hamhuis is a bit too old for my liking at 33 years old and a salary of $4.25 million, ending this July.
Whatever the player, there is no doubt about it, the Boston Bruins need a defenceman with a reasonable age and contract that can play shut-down defense and can score a couple points or two.
The Bruins now play the Winnipeg Jets tonight in hopes of erasing the Kings game.