Jake DeBrusk Is Right Choice To Get First Crack On Top Line For Bruins

DeBrusk has earned one more opportunity

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February 23, 2022

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk has earned another opportunity to prove himself.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy revealed Wednesday that DeBrusk would get a chance to play right wing on the top line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. DeBrusk, who usually skates on the left side, will play on the right with Marchand firmly on the left.

Out of all the options Cassidy had, especially after Boston’s bench boss expressed how he wanted to keep Trent Frederic-Charlie Coyle-Craig Smith together, this is the right decision.

The story regarding DeBrusk is well-documented. It’s been an up-and-down season with the winger publicly requesting a trade in trade in November. Most recently, he was demoted to the fourth line against the Ottawa Senators with Cassidy and company hoping it would ignite a spark. And to DeBrusk’s credit, he responded with one goal in each of the last two games, essentially answering the challenge.

It has earned him another chance to prove what he can do — and the opportunity to join Marchand and Bergeron offers a benefit in that regard.

DeBrusk, after all, is a former first-round pick who scored 27 goals in his second season. His 2021-22 campaign hasn’t been as bad as his continuous lineup movement displays with nine goals and eight assists in 45 games.

It’s understandable the decision to roll with DeBrusk elicits cautious optimism, but when the other factors are in place — again, Cassidy wanting to keep the Coyle-centered group together, Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak remaining together — it further confirms this is the correct choice.

No one has more upside than DeBrusk. Other options like Nick Foligno, who hasn’t recorded a point in his last seven games, or Jesper Froden, who is more of a question mark than anyone else on the current roster, indicate that it had to be DeBrusk. It was a matter of going with the unknown or a player who has shown in the past he can play at a high level.

DeBrusk, like a number of the Bruins, has been up to the challenge as of late. And now it’s his chance to show the Bruins he can play as a top-line forward, which is what he has wanted from the start. It is make or break time.

Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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