Bruins

How Bruins' trade deadline acquisitions have performed with new team

Bruins

The Boston Bruins made a splash in the week leading up to the NHL trade deadline by acquiring defenseman Dmitry Orlov and right wing Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals, as well as left wing Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings.

The cost to acquire these players was steep, including first-round picks in 2023 and 2024 (top-10 protected), among other assets. But the decision to load up was the correct one for the Bruins, who are having a historic season. They're also the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. 

The Bruins are 6-2-0 since the Orlov/Hathaway trade and 2-2 with Bertuzzi. Let's take a deeper look at how well Orlov, Hathaway and Bertuzzi have fit in with the Bruins so far.

Dmitry Orlov, D

Stats with Bruins: 8 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 20:32 TOI/Game

Best fitTop pairing with Charlie McAvoy

Assessing performance so far: Orlov has been fantastic offensively. He's produced at better than a point-per-game rate and has contributed to the power play. Orlov leads all Bruins defensemen in goals (two), assists (four) and hits (18) during 5-on-5 action since his debut Feb. 25 against the Vancouver Canucks. He ranks second among B's d-men in scoring chances with eight, while also blocking eight shots and taking zero penalties at 5-on-5. Orlov's hot start earned him the league's First Star of the Week honors on March 6.

 

The Russian defenseman has been good defensively, but there's room for improvement. In fairness, he's coming to a new team, a new system and it's going to take time to get adjusted. He's been thrown right into the fire -- playing on all three pairings, the left and right side, and with six (!) different partners.

Orlov has played the most with Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Hampus Lindholm. He has been a strong fit with McAvoy on the top pairing, and the stats prove it. The best example came in a win against the New York Rangers on March 4 when the Orlov/McAvoy pairing totally shut down the Rangers' top line, including Mika Zibanejad and Vladimir Tarasenko. The B's had a 8-1 advantage in shot attempts during the 3:16 of ice time Orlov played against Patrick Kane, too, per Natural Stat Trick.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery will likely give Orlov minutes with several defensemen going forward, but the early returns with McAvoy have been strong. Orlov also should continue to see plenty of minutes on special teams. He has played 1:54 per game on the power play and 1:15 per game on the penalty kill so far.

Tyler Bertuzzi, LW

Stats with Bruins: 4 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 16:48 TOI/Game

Best fit: Third line with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic

Assessing performance so far: Bertuzzi has only played four games, but he's already given the Bruins a physical edge. He makes his presence felt early and often by throwing his body around, battling for 50-50 pucks and getting under the opponents' skin. His passing ability has been impressive (see the goal below) as well, but he also needs to shoot more (just five shots in four games).

Bertuzzi made his debut earlier this month versus the Rangers on a third line with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. This line clicked right away and got the Bruins on the board with a late first period goal. 

Bertuzzi also has played on the second line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak, including 12:12 of 5-on-5 ice time together in last Saturday's 3-2 comeback win over the Detroit Red Wings. The B's had a 12-3 edge in scoring chances with the Bertuzzi-Krejci-Pastrnak line on the ice, although they did start most of their shifts in the attacking zone. 

Bruins' third line with Bertuzzi could be valuable come playoff time

Bertuzzi played alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the top line during Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Red Wings. This line didn't score during its 5:55 of ice time together, but it did drive puck possession and scoring chances at a high rate. 

 

The 28-year-old left wing has played 2:08 per game on the power play, too, mostly as the net-front guy on the second unit. Bertuzzi likely will get into the penalty kill mix before the end of the regular season.

Even though he hasn't been directly involved in a ton of offense so far -- one point in four games -- every line Bertuzzi has played on has tilted the ice in Boston's favor, and that's an encouraging sign.

Garnet Hathaway, RW

Stats with Bruins: 8 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 10:46 TOI/Game

Best fit: Fourth line

Assessing performance so far: Hathaway scored his first goal as a Bruin in Saturday's win over the Red Wings. It ended up being the game-winner as the Bruins completed a comeback from down 0-2. 

Hathaway has mostly played on the fourth line, where he's brought plenty of snarl and a little offense. One of the fourth line's best games with Hathaway was that 3-2 victory against the Red Wings. The B's had a 15-7 edge in shot attempts, a 9-3 advantage in scoring chances and a 1-0 goal differential with the fourth line of A.J. Greer, Tomas Nosek and Hathaway on the ice.

"Really deserving. I thought they were our best line all (afternoon) long," Montgomery said of the fourth line after Saturday's win. "Right from the first shift of the game where I thought they got us going. They had a lot of good looks and spent a lot of time in the O-zone, despite the fact I expect them in the D-zone a lot of the times."

The Bruins need a fourth line that can be physical and score some goals. The bottom-six didn't contribute much offensively in last year's first-round playoff series loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, and that needs to change if Boston is going to make a deep postseason run this year. Hathaway, with 10 goals in 67 games between the Bruins and Capitals, needs to play a key role in helping the fourth line control the pace of play and generate offense.