Haggerty: Bruins need a shakeup, but not involving McAvoy or Carlo

Haggerty: Bruins need a shakeup, but not involving McAvoy or Carlo

It’s fairly obvious the Bruins are desperate for some help this season, something to spur them into a winning stretch that can help punch their tickets to the playoffs.

A big, sometimes-physical winger who has annually posted 20-plus goals is exactly what the Bruins need, which is why there's been so much chatter linking Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog to the B’s in trade rumors. TSN and NBCSN Insider Bob McKenzie addressed those rumors and brought up an unthinkable notion, from a B’s perspective: That in order to land Landeskog, they would have to part with a blue-chip defenseman prospect like Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy.

The notion of trading McAvoy or Carlo should be a non-starter, even for a talented 24-year-old player like Landeskog who has years of solid productivity in front of him. It appears the Bruins agree, especially now that Carlo has impressed in his first half-season in the NHL and McAvoy dominated all the big moments in helping Team USA win the World Junior championship.

Scouts have likened McAvoy as similar to the Kings' Drew Doughty, and good hockey clubs don't trade those kinds of players. It would be pure insanity for the B's to deal McAvoy for just about anything, given that he looks like a future No. 1 defenseman who could be in Boston as soon as next season.

“[The B’s big concern is] how can they continue to supplement their offense” McKenzie told TSN 690 in Montreal. “Their name is front and center in all of these trade rumors with the Colorado Avalanche . . . 

"But whether it’s Landeskog or [Matt] Duchene or anybody that Colorado may or may not be willing to trade -- I keep hearing names like . . . Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy. I’d be really, really surprised if, on a blueline that’s trying to be reconstructed, that the Bruins would consider giving up -- I can’t imagine they would give up Charlie McAvoy. Not after what I saw at the world junior championship. He looks like a real keeper. And Brandon Carlo has been exceptional this year. [He’s a] different type of defenseman, but nevertheless.

"[The] number one thing the Bruins need to do -- aside from make the playoffs -- is to overhaul their defense. And when you draft young defensemen like Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy and they look to be as good as they’re going to be . . . boy, it’s awfully difficult to part with them.”

It’s more than difficult. It would be willfully negligent to deal future core players like Carlo and McAvoy in a short-term quest to quality for the Stanley Cup playoffs this season.

This is why the Bruins are in such a difficult predicament: As a team in transition, they shouldn’t give up their best young players when it’s clear they're not Cup-worthy this season. But it sure doesn’t appear they can get back to the playoffs unless they do something with a team that’s been spinning its wheels for the last month.

Wednesday, March 22: Galchenyuk in Claude's doghouse?

Wednesday, March 22: Galchenyuk in Claude's doghouse?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while ready to say Finn Jones wasn’t a very good Iron Fist. The Netflix series was okay, but he just wasn’t up for the physical aspect of the role, or the charismatic part of it for that matter.

*Is Alex Galchenyuk in Claude Julien’s doghouse? Did anybody think it was only a matter of time before this player was in Julien’s doghouse?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Arthur says that the NBA towers over the NHL when it comes to family friendly fun.

*If you have kids and are a hockey fan, then this John Buccigross column will make you cry...and that’s perfectly okay. Thanks for sharing, Bucci.

*Good piece on junior hockey scoring sensation Alex Debrincat, a draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks who the Bruins bypassed at the end of last year’s first round in favor of Trent Frederic.

*USA Today has eight players flying under the radar with great years in the NHL this season, including Viktor Arvidsson and Cam Talbot.

*Speaking of Talbot, could Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling be the next backup to strike it big as a No. 1 goalie for another team?

*For something completely different: Before she made it big Jennifer Lopez ate one giant slice of pizza a day. What a great info nugget this is.

 

'Claude hates the kids,' but young Bruins are playing less under Cassidy

'Claude hates the kids,' but young Bruins are playing less under Cassidy

You know the old adage about how Bruce Cassidy hates the kids? No? Oh, that’s probably because he doesn’t, but in Boston it’s commonplace to say the hockey coach hates the kids. 

My Best Friend Mike did it all the time with Claude Julien and a lot of people -- even smart ones -- echoed him. It was hyperbole, but it grew into a serious belief despite, you know, *deep breath* Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Tuukka Rask, Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and David Pastrnak all flourishing under him, with Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel also having monster seasons in Boston. 

Anyway, I stumbled across this little tidbit after reading an interesting tweet from Bruins Stats about Frank Vatrano’s usage: Most of the Bruins’ young guys have gotten less ice time under Bruce Cassidy per game than they did under Julien. That list consists of Vatrano, Ryan Spooner, Brandon Carlo and Colin Miller. David Pastrnak, who shouldn’t really count given that he’s one of the team’s best players, has played eight more seconds a night under Cassidy. 

Again, for the love of god, this is not suggesting that Cassidy doesn’t like young players. It does, however, dispel the foolish idea that Julien had a particularly strong bias against young guys. 

Here’s a breakdown of time on ice: 

Frank Vatrano: 14:40 per night under Julien; 13:00 under Cassidy 

Ryan Spooner: 14:22 per night under Julien; 14:10 under Cassidy

Brandon Carlo: 21:20 per night under Julien; 20:08 under Cassidy

Colin Miller: 16:27 per night under Julien; 14:40 under Cassidy 

Should these guys be playing more? Should they be playing less? Don’t care. The "Claude hates kids" argument is dead. 

Ps. There's like a 70 percent chance this turns into a "Bruce hates the kids!" segment on Felger and Mazz.