It’s been rough season for fans of both the Providence and Boston Bruins, as both teams have been decimated by injuries for parts of the season. The baby Bruins starting goalie Malcolm Subban started the season with a lower body injury. The injury forced rookie goalie Zane McIntyre into the starting role in his first professional season. While there were some bumps in the road early, McIntyre was able to hang in there and do well. With Subban returning to the line-up it forced head coach Bruce Cassidy to make a decision. Cassidy went with the more seasoned net-minder Subban, allowing McIntyre to develop in the back-up role.
With both goalies back and healthy, the injury bug would hit the players next for the baby Bruins. The team looked like a rag-tag bunch of misfits with many players going on IR. To make matters worse, Boston called up the AHL’s leading scoring and rookie Frank Vatrano. Unfortunately the team has struggled with chemistry, and Malcolm Subban has really struggled with consistency this season as well. Most weekends they look like two completely different teams. The first is the team who fails to show up, leaving Subban out to dry and forcing him to stand on his head. The other one is just the opposite, the whole team plays well and Malcolm Subban struggles mightily with easy shots.
Notable players were missing from the Bruins as they labored through the months of November and December. They quickly fell out of playoff contention, failing to keep leads and close out games. As the Bruins got more and more healthy, they started to gel and come into their own as a team. But as players continued to come back the baby Bruins started to gain more and more momentum as a team. They even went on solid winning streak, beating a few playoff teams and starting to claw their way out of the AHL’s basement.
The Providence Bruins will need to keep this trend going for the rest of the season. They have struggled early before and one thing is for sure: Bruce Cassidy’s group will need to catch fire to make the playoffs. From here on out, they will need solid offense, solid defense, and some rock-solid goaltenders. If everything comes up perfectly, the Providence Bruins still have a chance to make the playoffs. We will just have to see what 2016 has in store for the baby Bruins.