It takes a big person to admit when someone whiffs on a controversial opinion. Let us face it, that is what writing about sports is all about some of the time. Well, that was the person behind these words just one article previously.
Over a week ago, the Boston Bruins traded for the likes of Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly. The former was the attractive name out there on the trade market for contending teams to jostle over. The Bruins won, and now they are reaping the benefits.
The following question was posed: can the B’s win with Hall in the lineup? As it turns out, they have not lost a game since he has donned the Black and Gold.
In the five victories since the trade deadline, the Bruins have outscored opponents by an 18-6 margin. Hall had also matched is total goal output from when he played 37 games in Buffalo during that stretch. Even Curtis Lazar is having an immediate impact since coming over in a trade, as he has been anchoring an energy-filled fourth line that has been creating havoc for other team’s top units.
Above all else, Reilly could possibly the steal of the year for the Bruins. After coming over from the Ottawa Senators for a third-round draft pick, he has stepped in and led all left-handed defensemen in time on ice for Boston. Reilly has also been inserted on the top power-play unit to showcase his puck-moving ability. Not only has he racked up three assists in five games with the Bruins, but he has created additional scoring chances for his teammates because of his superb ability to get shots to the net.
It may be premature, but the combination of moves that B’s general manager Don Sweeney orchestrated at this year’s trade deadline could be the most impactful in recent memory. The National Hockey League currently comprises of tight playoff races, but the Bruins seem to be catching fire at the right moment.
Don’t look now, but the East Division is wide open. In what was deemed to be an insurmountable feat to overcome not too long ago, the Bruins are just four points behind the first-place Washington Capitals with two games in hand. Everything is coming together. Rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman has burst onto the scene, the blue liners are getting healthy, and the new acquisitions have seamlessly been integrated. Boston is in a great spot right now. However, the games still need to be played.
The skepticism of Hall joining the Bruins last week was misplaced. That should not have been the sole focus. What someone failed to realize—no need to mention names—was that Hall was just part of the bigger picture. The Stanley Cup is now a legitimate possibility.