Many were expecting the Bruins to make a few moves at the trade deadline this year. Sure, the injuries that were present on the roster at the time were an issue of concern. However, it is always good to have some depth, regardless if the rest of the team is healthy.
The main concern for the Bruins was to try and match what they did last year at the deadline. The bar was set higher than ever since they won the Stanley Cup, and the acquisitions at last year’s deadline contributed immensely.
The 2011-12 season will prove to be no different in the eyes of the Black and Gold.
Boston did make some last-minute deals that did not turn any heads, especially with a player like Rick Nash on the market at the 11th hour. There was no need to make a serious run at a stud of a player like Nash because he would, allegedly, disrupt the chemistry of the Bruins. They were after players who would fit into their system and play their style of hockey.
Thus far, the three acquisitions have proven that they belong in the lineup.
The first deal that went through was a trade that involved sending prospects Marc Cantin and Yannick Riendeau to the New York Islanders for veterans Mike Mottau and Brian Rolston.
Mottau was thrown into this particular trade to complete the deal. He has only skated in three games for the Bruins since he was acquired. He is not expected to be nothing more than a depth player and is listed as the eighth defenseman.
On the other hand, Rolston has turned out to be a productive player just like he was in his first stint with Boston. Rolston only recorded one point in his first nine games with the Bruins. Since then, he has caught fire and racked up 11 points in the last six games, which included a four point performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He has been matched up on the third line with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot for the majority of his return. The recent chemistry between the three players has given new life to Rolston’s game. His improved play has given him the chance to see some minutes on the power play as well.
The third player that Boston picked up on deadline day was defenseman Greg Zanon. He came over from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Steven Kampfer. The Bruins have played Zanon in several games recently due to the poor play of defenseman Joe Corvo, who is more of an offensive puck mover.
That style of play has not worked thus far in the Bruins’ system. The way Zanon plays is much more physical and defensive, which is what the Bruins were looking for when they set out to find a well-rounded sixth defenseman.
Zanon has only played in 11 games for the Bruins and has recorded one point. He will likely rotate with Corvo as the sixth defenseman for the remainder of the regular season. Zanon will be paired with Adam McQuaid as the third defensive pair once the postseason begins. His physical play will be much more vital the deeper Boston goes into the playoffs.
The Bruins have done all they can to add to their depth for the stretch run. Now let’s see how it all plays out.