If the Bruins make a move between now and the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline, there seems to be a pretty clear consensus as to what area of the lineup Don Sweeney and Co. will hone in on.
Whereas Sweeney pulled the trigger on deals for Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson in an effort to boost Boston’s third line last spring, many expect the B’s to be on the prowl for a top-six winger this winter — with the club finally looking to put an end to the carousel of forwards to David Krejci’s right.
Even if Anders Bjork has fared well since getting that promotion into the top-six unit, Boston will likely want such a crucial spot in the lineup to be shored up by a more proven offensive threat.
As such, look for names like Chris Kreider, Tyler Toffoli, Kyle Palmieri, Ondrej Kase and others to sprout up in headlines for the next couple of weeks.
But given Boston’s current Cup-contending window, it’s not out of the question for the B’s to look for upgrades elsewhere across the roster before the deadline.
If the center market proves to be more robust than the pool of available wingers, perhaps Boston looks to acquire a pivot like Jean-Gabriel Pageau, while bumping up Coyle on the wing? If Boston wants to add more size in the bottom-six, perhaps they can strike a deal with Columbus for human wrecking ball Josh Anderson?
All of these potential moves stand as viable — and realistic — options for a Bruins club trying to put itself over the top ahead of another Stanley Cup Playoff push.
But what about the blue line?
Even with some recent blips on the radar, Bruce Cassidy has to feel pretty comfortable with his top-four unit of Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug for the grind of the postseason.
As for that third pairing?