Adam McQuaid returning is a great sign for the Boston Bruins. While the Bruins have been able to keep their head above water without McQuaid or Dennis Seidenberg, the youngsters for the Bruins have been outstanding. They have far exceeded my expectations. Torey Krug is proving to be an offensive stud and Dougie Hamilton is proving that he can be a consistent everyday player in the NHL at a very young age.
Krug has scored seven goals and has proved to be the spark on the power play that the Bruins have been missing the last few years. Hamilton has provided consistent defense with the occasional mistake that you would expect of someone so young.
The most important statistic to judge these young players on is their plus-minus. Krug has 15 points and is a +6, while Hamilton is a +9 while logging six points. Even though the youngsters have played well, the returns of some veteran players are needed.
Players like Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk are logging more and more minutes in the absences of McQuaid and Seidenberg. Claude Julien clearly trusts his young defenseman, but only in certain situations. If the Bruins are in a crucial situation, Julien still looks to his veterans to lead the charge to help bail the Bruins out of trouble.
As the season progresses, I would like to see Chara and Boychuk log fewer minutes to keep them fresh for the playoffs. If Krug and Hamilton continue to play the way that they have and Seidenberg and McQuaid return to health, they should be able to do just that.