5 Things the Boston Bruins Must Do To Make the 2015-16 NHL Playoffs

By Derek Kortepeter

Boston Bruins fans were undoubtedly deflated by the fifth place finish in the Atlantic Division and failure to qualify for the playoffs last season. The team has plenty of tools to get them into this year’s postseason; it is just a matter of utilizing them correctly. Here’s a look at five things Boston needs to focus on in order to make the 2015-16 NHL playoffs.

5 Things the Boston Bruins Must Do To Make the 2015-16 NHL Playoffs
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5. Trust In Matt Beleskey's Abilities

Trust In Matt Beleskey's Abilities Credit: Getty Images
When Beleskey exited the Anaheim Ducks, it was without a doubt a loss to the organization. That loss is now Boston's gain, however, as his skills as a power forward are top notch. Matt Beleskey needs to be placed on the proper line to suit his abilities and be given a large chunk of ice time. The forward is a brutal hitter and a fantastic goalscorer. If given room to shine, the Bruins will be rewarded with brilliant goals and an aggressive two-way performance from this ex-hero of the Ducks.

5. Trust In Matt Beleskey's Abilities

When Beleskey exited the Anaheim Ducks, it was without a doubt a loss to the organization. That loss is now Boston's gain, however, as his skills as a power forward are top notch. Matt Beleskey needs to be placed on the proper line to suit his abilities and be given a large chunk of ice time. The forward is a brutal hitter and a fantastic goalscorer. If given room to shine, the Bruins will be rewarded with brilliant goals and an aggressive two-way performance from this ex-hero of the Ducks.

4. Focus On Making Joe Morrow the Defensive Leader

Focus On Making Joe Morrow the Defensive Leader Credit: Getty Images
The young defenseman is full of raw talent, and this could be his breakthrough year. Morrow has a high level of aggression that shuts down big plays and has the endurance to get a lot of ice time. His consistency is a bit all over the place, but a lot of that has to do with his age (22 years old). Given the right pairing, Morrow can bring his aggression to key points in the game where a strong defense is all that counts (it doesn't hurt either that he can post offensive stats as well).

4. Focus On Making Joe Morrow the Defensive Leader

The young defenseman is full of raw talent, and this could be his breakthrough year. Morrow has a high level of aggression that shuts down big plays and has the endurance to get a lot of ice time. His consistency is a bit all over the place, but a lot of that has to do with his age (22 years old). Given the right pairing, Morrow can bring his aggression to key points in the game where a strong defense is all that counts (it doesn't hurt either that he can post offensive stats as well).

3. Focus On A Defensive Overhaul

Focus On A Defensive Overhaul Credit: Getty Images
Morrow is great, but the Bruins in general need to close up the holes they have on defense to make a run at the playoffs. It would help to get some more young blood on the team and try them in the lineup. It would likely mean trades, but if it creates a chance at the postseason it would be worth it.

3. Focus On A Defensive Overhaul

Morrow is great, but the Bruins in general need to close up the holes they have on defense to make a run at the playoffs. It would help to get some more young blood on the team and try them in the lineup. It would likely mean trades, but if it creates a chance at the postseason it would be worth it.

2. Improve Season Goal Averages

Improve Season Goal Averages Credit: Getty Images
This kind of seems idiotic to have to state out loud but allow me to explain. The Bruins finished last year with a ranking of 22nd in overall goals scored for the regular season. Boston has proven goalscorers in players like Brad Marchand, but now he is out indefinitely with a concussion. There may be a need to bring players up from the AHL to see if there is a diamond in the rough that can put more points on the board. One way to guarantee a failure to make it to the playoffs is not making it into at least in the 20th overall goal totals at the end of the season.

2. Improve Season Goal Averages

This kind of seems idiotic to have to state out loud but allow me to explain. The Bruins finished last year with a ranking of 22nd in overall goals scored for the regular season. Boston has proven goalscorers in players like Brad Marchand, but now he is out indefinitely with a concussion. There may be a need to bring players up from the AHL to see if there is a diamond in the rough that can put more points on the board. One way to guarantee a failure to make it to the playoffs is not making it into at least in the 20th overall goal totals at the end of the season.

1. Do Whatever It Takes To Keep Tuukka Rask Healthy

Do Whatever It Takes To Keep Tuukka Rask Healthy Credit: Getty Images
With last year's save percentage being .922, Rask is really the backbone of the Bruins. When all else fails, Boston knows that they can rely on Rask's consistently brilliant goaltending. Should he get injured, however, the story would be quite different. Lately quite a few star players (see: Zdeno Chara) have been getting injured and it has admittedly caused the Bruins to have a slow start. Whatever the conditioning staff needs to do to keep Rask at optimal levels, they must do it. If he is fatigued and it wouldn't hurt to swap him towards the end of the game, do it. Rask is Boston's ace in the hole; should something happen to him that would be the nail in the coffin.

1. Do Whatever It Takes To Keep Tuukka Rask Healthy

With last year's save percentage being .922, Rask is really the backbone of the Bruins. When all else fails, Boston knows that they can rely on Rask's consistently brilliant goaltending. Should he get injured, however, the story would be quite different. Lately quite a few star players (see: Zdeno Chara) have been getting injured and it has admittedly caused the Bruins to have a slow start. Whatever the conditioning staff needs to do to keep Rask at optimal levels, they must do it. If he is fatigued and it wouldn't hurt to swap him towards the end of the game, do it. Rask is Boston's ace in the hole; should something happen to him that would be the nail in the coffin.

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