Similar to last year, the Bruins were extremely active at the trade deadline, acquiring multiple players to help cement their status as Stanley Cup contenders. Last year, the Bruins were in the running for multiple players (Ryan McDonagh) and acquired 3 others (Rick Nash, Tommy Wingels, Nick Holden). This year, the Bruins were in the running for even more players (Wayne Simmonds, Mark Stone), but only ended up acquiring two, due to a team with substantially less holes on defense and in the bottom 6. Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson, the players the Bruins acquired, are both extremely versatile forwards and are both great pieces to add to a Boston team that hopes to make a run.
Center Charlie Coyle
The Weymouth native has played two games as a Bruin, since being traded to Boston on Wednesday night, his first coming in St. Louis, where he ended up scoring a shootout goal on a nasty move to beat former Providence Bruin and current Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, who has been extremely hot as of late.
Coyle has not tallied an official point yet, but will be getting winger Peter Cehlarik back soon for help on his wings (currently defensive forward Joakim Nordstrom on the left and unproductive leader David Backes on the right). Although offensively productive and getting pretty good scoring chances, he has not been able to convert any chances as of yet.
Coyle also got to take part in the ceremonial puck drop at the game in Boston last night, in honor of fallen Weymouth police officer Michael Chesna after Zdeno Chara ceded his spot in favor of Coyle in a classy move by the captain. Coyle is signed for next year, and will probably strongly consider signing an extension to remain in his hometown.
Right Wing Marcus Johansson
Johansson was acquired from the New Jersey Devils about 30 minutes before the trade deadline in a last minute deal. He has played one game in a Bruins uniform, which came at home against the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night. He tallied his first point with an excellent pass to David Krejci, who then slid the puck over to Jake DeBrusk, who scored his sixth goal in seven games and his twentieth of the season with a backhand shot on an essentially open net while falling down. J
ohansson was a first round pick of the Washington Capitals back in 2009, and ended up playing seven seasons with the team. He was traded to New Jersey before the start of last year’s season, where he spent the majority of the season injured, which actually came on a Brad Marchand elbow.
In an interview Tuesday, Johansson said that the incident with Marchand was “water under the bridge” and that the Bruins winger actually called him to apologize for the incident, although when he called him is unclear. In a post-game interview, Johansson lauded the “unbelievable” Bruins fans, so a possible reunion may occur during his impending free agency. It is already clear that he is a good fit on the Krejci line.
Winger Ryan Donato
Donato was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 NHL draft by the Boston Bruins, and is the son of former Bruin Ted Donato. Donato was born and raised in the Boston area, and played at Harvard University. He made an impressive debut last year, scoring 9 points in 12 games after being signed to an entry level contract, but had a harder go this year, putting up the same amount of points in 34 games and getting lost in the shuffle behind other wingers Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, and Peter Cehlarik. Therefore, Donato was the odd man out. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the year.
After being traded to the Minnesota Wild for Charlie Coyle, Donato has put up 6 points in 4 games for the Wild so far, and Bruins fans should and will root for him for the rest of his career, unless he plays for the Habs or Leafs. The Bruins also traded a fifth round pick to Minnesota in this trade. Boston also departed with this year’s second round pick and next year’s fourth to acquire Marcus Johansson.
Boston has set themselves up for a run this year. They already looked fluid, even without leading scorer David Pastrnak. Getting him back, and further developing chemistry among the new additions will allow Boston to go deep into the playoffs this year, even with the horribly bad playoff design, in which we are going to play Toronto in the first round.
Photo Credits: (Boston Herald)