Bruins

NHL Notebook: Enforcers are getting phased out of today’s NHL, but Bruins believe they have an answer to physical play from opponents

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Let’s be frank. 

Marty McSorley isn’t walking through that door. Bob Probert isn’t walking through that door. Dave Semenko isn’t waiting to get picked up on waivers. 

In today’s NHL, these enforcers have become relics of yesteryear, rarely deployed on a pro-hockey roster. Even now, the John Scotts and Zack Rinaldos of the hockey world are struggling to find consistent reps up in the league — with more and more teams opting instead to inject the speed and skill that is starting to become more and more abundant both on the blue line and in the bottom six. 

The Bruins have taken full advantage of the league’s transition into a skill-centric game, with the likes of Sean Kuraly, Anders Bjork, and Charlie Coyle all earning extended looks in the bottom six so far in 2019-20.

Ultimately, the game is better off when players like Scott and Matt Cooke are no longer hopping over the boards for shifts. Although, given how the last couple of games have played out for Boston’s skill players, you have to wonder if Bruce Cassidy and Co. wish that they could roll out a "goon" for a couple of shifts every once in a while.