Boston Bruins: Health will lead to tough roster decisions

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 22: Jake DeBrusk
NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 22: Jake DeBrusk /

With the Boston Bruins nearing a healthy roster a battle for playing time begins.

For the first time in a long time, the Boston Bruins will have their band of usual starters back. Adam McQuaid is nearing a return and Jake DeBrusk has returned to the lineup with that some tough decisions are going to be made by the Bruins.

The battle for roster space has begun and Head Coach Bruce Cassidy doesn’t consider it to be all that bad:

"“Now it’s kind of a nice problem to have. I’ve said it all along, the more good players you have to choose from, the easier it is for a coach. At the end of the day, it’s not easy telling a player not to play – I don’t enjoy that part of the game, I never have, especially the guys that are here working hard every day. But that’s the business side. We’re playing 20 guys every night and we’re trying to put the 20 out there that deserve to play. More of them coming into the mix healthy I think is a good problem to have. These guys are good players in the league coming back to our lineup and they’re gonna help us win.”"

Who is in?

Jake DeBrusk seems to be staying in Boston for the foreseeable future. He is having a decent start to his season with five goals and seven assists. DeBrusk has proven that he can play well in the NHL. He may not stay on the second line as Anders Bjork has returned as well, but he should definitely be on the roster.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 5: Jake DeBrusk /

Someone who has gotten a more verbal confirmation he is staying is Danton Heinen.

"“Those are discussions internally,” said Cassidy. “I can’t see Danton Heinen being sent down. He’s playing very well for us. Every other option is probably available for us and we’d have to look at it, but I don’t want to speak out of turn. With Heinen, I think he’s played very well and deserves to be in the lineup.”"

Heinen very well deserves to be in the lineup as he is near the top five in scoring for the Boston Bruins. He has improved greatly since last season and has shown some great ability to put teammates in the best position to score. Now he will be playing on the bottom two lines but he has shown the ability to have success on the top lines as well.

More from Chowder and Champions

Who is Out?

Matt Beleskey has been having a rough time getting into a groove since last year. He is having an awful season and seems to be a permanent healthy scratch. I think if it comes down to it Beleskey is a waste of a roster spot. If you need to make some room for the young guys send him down. If you lose him on waivers it is not that big of a deal.

When Adam McQuaid does return from injury it appears that the Bruins will have to send down one defenseman. It’s a toss-up between Paul Postma and Matt Grzelcyk. I think the B’s should keep Grzelcyk. I feel that he is better suited to play with his offensive skill. Postma is a great defenseman but doesn’t offer much in the offensive zone. I just like how the Charlestown native plays the game. He is a more multidimensional player than Postma.

Next: Boston Bruins have a great opportunity with tons of upcoming home games

Overall these moves would signify a culture change in Boston. The Bruins are in the midst of a tremendous youth movement. I think it is time they give the keys to the young kids and see what they can do for a full season.