|Andy Brickley on M&M: Adding a defenseman ‘a definite must for the Bruins’||03.05.14 at 2:40 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about which defensemen the Bruins could add before Wednesday’s trade deadline, the possibility of adding a veteran forward and more. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
With rumors swirling that the Blue Jackets and Bruins could be trade partners, Brickley provided information on Columbus defensemen Jack Johnson and Niktia Nikitin.
“Jack Johnson more of an offensive guy,” Brickley said. “Likes to have the puck, likes to jump into the play, wants to be in on every power-play opportunity. Has some wrist to his game, he is highly skilled. But when the U.S. was putting its team together for the Olympics, he’s not inside the top eight, which tells you maybe his game has gone in the wrong direction.”
Added Brickley: “Nikitin may be more of the type of player the Bruins were looking at. Big body, allows the system to be your friend, do your job, be a hard, physical, punishing guy in your own zone, make the simple play. Maybe he’s more of a fit based on the fact that you don’t want to subtract much from your roster in order to go get what you think you need. And I think Nikitin is really probably higher on the want list even though Jack Johnson is the more of a talent player.”
Brickley said the Bruins should add depth to their defense, knowing that injuries have clouded the depth chart.
“If you look at their D, you know [Zdeno] Chara, [Dougie] Hamilton, [Matt] Bartkowski, [Johnny] Boychuck, [Torey] Krug, [Kevan] Miller, and now you don’t know what [Adam] McQuaid‘s situation is. You obviously don’t have [Dennis] Seidenberg.”
Added Brickley: “Does that give you enough? The Bruins went through nine defensemen last year, the Chicago Blackhawks really only played six, I think their seventh defensemen played one, so they stayed healthier, but the Bruins went through nine D. And the guy that played the least was Wade Redden, and I think he played somewhere around five games, so you need as many defensemen, healthy defensemen, experienced defensemen, versatile defensemen and the right attitude defensemen if you think you’re going to have a long playoff run. So I think that is a definite must for the Bruins.”