3 most important Boston Bruins players down the stretch

CALGARY, CANADA - FEBRUARY 28: Dmitri Orlov #81 (C) of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
CALGARY, CANADA - FEBRUARY 28: Dmitri Orlov #81 (C) of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /
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With the NHL Trade Deadline quickly approaching on Friday March 3, the Boston Bruins have been among the busiest teams in the league. Knowing that this year is an all-in type of season with both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci likely to hang up the skates, GM Don Sweeney has been going above and beyond to bolster the group for the playoffs.

It started with last week’s deal to acquire Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals to add a little grit to the team’s depth options. On Thursday Sweeney continued that trend with the pickup of gnarly forward Tyler Bertuzzi.

There’s no doubt that having this sort of depth, especially if injuries to Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno are season-ending, will be a major boost to the B’s in the playoffs. But before we get there, there are still more than 20 games to be played. So let’s take a look at the Boston Bruins three most important players down the stretch.

Boston Bruins No. 3 Most Important Player- Charlie McAvoy

Boston Bruins
CALGARY, CANADA – FEBRUARY 28: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

Fans of other teams won’t want to hear this, but the always potent Charlie McAvoy seems to be heating up just in time for the stretch run. With 11 points in the B’s last 10 games, the Boston Bruins star defenseman is set to benefit the most from the B’s deadline acquisitions.

After spending most of the year playing with Matt Grzelcyk, which forced McAvoy to focus more on the defensive end of the ice to make up for the smaller Grzelcyk’s shortcomings, it looks like Charlie may find himself playing with the more physical Orlov. This will free up McAvoy to rush forward more offensively without sacrificing team defense. Having more bruisers in the lineup will also make teams think twice about taking runs at McAvoy, an added benefit.

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And if that happens, the rest of the league better watch out. I know it was in the 3-on-3 overtime period which is all about breakaways and defensive breakdowns, but McAvoy’s game winner against the Calgary Flames was a thing of beauty, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t keep it up the rest of the season.