Bruins Dougie Hamilton Has Broken Ribs, Time to Mail it In?
As you probably know, Dougie Hamilton has been out for a couple games from an undisclosed upper body injury against Florida. Well that information became disclosed by an unlikely source last night, Boston Celtics' Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk took a legit elbow to the face in warmups, receiving a pretty bad black eye, but played basically with one eye and helped the Celtics get a big win. Talking about it after the game he said, " I remember two days ago I was texting Dougie Hamilton and he told me he broke his ribs and he’s trying to come back before the playoffs," Olynyk said. "I was like, ‘Man I can’t sit out, he’s gonna rip me' . . . all those hockey guys would have killed me so I had to do it.” Oops. Hockey players generally don't give details away on their injuries. Patrice Bergeron played a postseason with a punctured lung, broken ribs, and separated shoulder and we knew nothing. That's how hockey players are.
Now that we know Dougie has broken ribs, what does this mean for the Bruins stretch run? An already depleted d-core loses yet another body and while they're surviving right now, it'll be a dogfight to keep the 8 seed. I think overall the Bruins will find a way, but some people are really going to have to step up. If I'm Claude Julien right now Chara and Seidenberg are the two guys I'm looking at. They're going to have to eat some serious minutes and I think they'll do enough to get us in the dance at least. However if the Bruins are going to do any damage in the playoffs this year, they really have to return to the shut down shape they were in a few years ago. Whether or not Hamilton can return for the playoffs, it's going to take every man on that roster to step up big time.
Staring down a team like Montreal in the first round, the Bruins are going to need to score some goals. While they have been on a tear lately, the young guns Spooner and Pastrnak can be counted on to get it done in the playoffs. Claude needs to give them ice time, they've definitely earned that and as of right now are the most explosive players we have, leading the team in scoring during the month of March. Give them ice time, especially a team like the Habs to try and counts their speed, but I wouldn't expect them to carry the team. The Stanely Cup Playoffs are the most grueling playoffs in all of sports, and it's where you separate the men from the boys. Relying on an 18 year old to carry the team in that situation is a recipe for disaster. Veteran players like Lucic, Krejci, Bergeron, and Marchand are going to have to step up and lead this team to some wins. I think with Bergeron and Krejci, you know you'll get the production, but the other guys like Lucic and Marchand disappear for large stretches of time. If that happens this year the B's will be lucky to last 5. Combined with some veteran scoring, the fate of the Bruins lies in the Finnish hands of one man.
For the Bruins to win any playoff games, it's got to be Tuukka time. He has the ability to be a game changer and in the NHL Playoffs a hot goalie is sometimes enough to get you somewhere. Hopefully we don't end up with the Habs in the first round, because if we do Rask's 3-13-3 record does not bode to well for the black and gold. It will take a miracle for the Bruins to get anywhere, but no doubt stranger things have happened than a team that's used to winning coming alive for the playoffs.