With only two preseason games remaining, the Bruins 2014-15 season roster is slowly but surely coming into focus, but there is work that still remains to be done.
With six spots open on the roster – four on offense, two on defense – players on the cusp are battling to fill those slots. A final roster needs to be made before the Bruins open up October 8th against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The defense pairings are a little clearer than the offensive lines, though a trade seems like it’s coming. Defenseman David Warsofsky has yet to be cut, although there is a very slim chance that he cracks the Bruins roster this season. Sending him down to Providence creates a problem for the Bruins, as he can’t be sent down without being placed on waivers, where he is likely to be claimed by another team. Another option is to keep Warsofsky and trade one of the nine defensemen the Bruins have – with Matt Bartkowski or Adam McQuaid being the most logical options. Regardless of what happens, the pairings will look similar to this on opening night: Chara-Hamilton, Seidenberg-Boychuk, Krug-Miller/McQuaid/Bartkowski.
The offense is where things get more complicated. Jordan Caron, Simon Gagne, Matt Fraser, Craig Cunningham, Bobby Robins, Anthony Camara, and David Pastrnak are all battling for the four open spots.
Caron and Fraser will likely make the team, with Robins and Camara being the most logical cuts (Camara just started skating with the team recently, as he’s been out with an undisclosed illness). Pastrnak, though just cleared by doctors to play today, has the rest of the preseason and nine regular season games to show the team what he’s made of before they have to make a decision.
My guess is that Pastrnak makes the team over Gagne, and Cunningham becomes the 13th forward. However, Pastrnak’s line placement could be up in the air – he started off camp playing right wing to Krejci, but Loui Eriksson has since taken his place.
Should Pastrnak make the team, the Bruins will need to decide who has better chemistry with the first line between Pastrnak and Eriksson. The chemistry between the Lucic-Krejci-Eriksson line didn’t seem to click in the preseason, though that could just be something to work on. Eriksson’s chemistry with Carl Soderberg isn’t to be overlooked as well – last season, they seemed to play well together and generated a ton of offense in the postseason.
Regardless, decisions need to be made, and cuts are coming quickly.