3 Bruins on Thin Ice Heading into the Playoffs

As the Bruins prepare to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 1, these three Boston players are skating on thin ice ahead of the 2023-24 NHL playoffs
Jeremy Swayman is one of three Bruins on thin ice this postseason.
Jeremy Swayman is one of three Bruins on thin ice this postseason. / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2023-24 NHL playoffs are practically here and the Boston Bruins officially know their first-round opponents. David Pastrnak & Co. will meet the rival Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 1 with the series beginning on Saturday, April 20. It's the fourth time that these rivals are meeting since 2012-13 with Boston having won each of the three previous series.

Even though there's good reason to believe that the Bruins will beat the Maple Leafs (again), head coach Jim Montgomery must still ensure that all hands are on deck. Certain underperforming players must step up if they want to have a future in Beantown.

With that in mind, here are three Bruins who are skating into the playoff on thin ice.

1. LW/RW Jake DeBrusk

Jake DeBrusk has been under the microscope for a few years now. The veteran winger requested a trade from the franchise back in July 2022 but ultimately rescinded his request due to his love for his Boston teammates.

The 2022-23 season was a great year for DeBrusk as he registered 27 goals while tallying career-highs in assist (23) and points (50) while only playing in 64 games. Unfortunately, he couldn't quite build off that success during the 2023-24 campaign. Despite playing in 80 contests, the 27-year-old only finished with 19 goals, 40 points, and a 0.5 point-per-game pace (compared to 0.8 PPG last year).

DeBrusk now heads into the playoffs as a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA). Although he could always opt for a fresh start, his previous comments indicate that he'd like to remain a Bruin. Boston certainly has enough money to bring him back during the offseason, but he likes needs a strong postseason showing to convince management to bring him back.

In 17 career meetings against the Maple Leafs, DeBrusk has registered six goals, 11 points, and a minus-1 plus/minus rating. Time will if he can produce similar results in the upcoming opening-round series. After all, his future in Boston likely depends on it.