NHL Notebook: Bruins prioritize depth, potential down middle as 2019 Draft comes to a close

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Sabermetrics. The Wildcat Formation. “Load Management.” You name it.

Every pro sports league follows the same copycat mentality as new strategies and ideologies lead to success out on the field, diamond, court, pitch, etc. — and the NHL is certainly no different.  

And while hockey has continued to shift more and more towards speed and skill over the past decade especially, the Blues have done their best to halt the shifting sentiment as to what leads to winning hockey in 2019 and beyond.

While St. Louis had its fair share of skilled assets in multiple areas of the game, Craig Berube’s club essentially pummeled and atrophied every opponent standing in its way en route to a Stanley Cup title, with the Bruins often on the receiving end of a suffocating Blues forecheck over a hard-fought two weeks of Cup Final play.

In wake of Boston’s crushing loss at the hands of the brawny Blues, it was relatively easy to draw some sort of correlation between the Bruins’ end result this year and the prospect they targeted in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

In pivot John Beecher, the Bruins added a 6-foot-3, 209-pound power forward with the 30th overall pick in the draft — with the 18-year-old pivot often serving as a one-man wrecking crew during his tenure with the U.S. National Team Development Program.

But when asked of Boston’s intention when it came to selecting a big body like Beecher, Sweeney was quick to note that one Cup loss to the Blues would not signal a shift in ideology that would bring about a return of the “Big Bad Bruins.”