Ty Anderson’s latest article on the Bruins coincides with a side point that we made on Bearly on Topic this week- the Bruins quietly succeeding without pressure while flying under the radar. In a city that takes its sports seriously, the bear cubs and their elders have been getting far less attention than the other three, including their roommates, the surging Celtics. And as we pointed out, this is a good thing.
And it’s fun. It’s so much more fun to watch this team succeed and fail than it has been in years.
The Bruins are not just doing this on the back of their normal suspects — Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, and Tuukka Rask — either. You’re seeing the young guns — be it a Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, Charlie McAvoy, and even ‘lower-level’ prospects like Matt Grzelcyk — grow into their NHL skates before your very eyes, and with results to make ‘em stick.
These are not simply ‘flash in the pan’ performances from prospects of yesteryear, either. McAvoy is a top-pairing defenseman at 19 years old and should be considered a Calder Trophy favorite now and Norris contender in two years, DeBrusk is a coach’s dream given his response to tough love benchings, the industrial Heinen has the smarts of a five-year pro, and Bjork is an ice-burner surely built for today’s rapidfire NHL. Their progressions have been enough for the Bruins to waive Matt Beleskey, and give legitimate pause as to where Adam McQuaid fits into the lineup upon his return.
But beyond the numbers and names confirming your suspicion that this team is worth watching, this is also probably the most fun anybody watching the B’s has had since 2014, when they won the Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s best regular-season team.
Hey, I hope that the Pats make it to (and win) the Super Bowl and the Celtics the NBA Finals if it means this team has the breathing room to grow and improve.