The Boston Bruins made a splash Thursday, swinging a trade with the Washington Capitals for forward Garnet Hathaway and defenseman Dmitry Orlov.
They didn’t really need to, however.
It doesn’t take much to realize that fact, as the Bruins enter their Thursday matchup with the Seattle Kraken on pace to win an NHL-record 63 games. Boston general manager Don Sweeney admitted as much after the trade was finalized, admitting the moves were made to fortify the team — not fix it.
“”I mean, our roster is battle tested,” Sweeney said. “I think when we play any type of game against any type of team we’re able to react accordingly or dictate accordingly. I think we’re trying to fortify and compliment and add to that.
“… We know it’s a war of attrition when you go through (the postseason). You got to get in, you’ve got to qualify. You’ve got 20 some-odd games toward the end of the year and then the playoffs begin… We’re trying to be consistent in how we’re going to want to play. I think both of these players are going to add to that.”
Boston doesn’t lead the league in any specific offensive category, but have basically swept through the regular season in team marks. The Bruins lead the NHL in wins (43), points (91), goal differential (plus-92), team save percentage (.931) and goals against per game (2.05).
Now, they will swap out Craig Smith’s 10 points (four goals, six assists) and plus-four rating for Hathaway — who has a history with Boston — and Orlov, who have combined for 12 goals and 23 assists on the season, posting a plus-eight rating collectively.
These aren’t fixes for the Bruins, they’re additions.