At this time, it is still unclear whether the 2019-2020 season will resume or not or whether it will be canceled. The former seems to be the more likely scenario of the two, but even in this regard, there is still a lot of talk about whether or not to resume the NHL in the regular season or the playoffs and what kind of structure these options would take.
If the NHL resumes play, the Boston Bruins will look to finish what they started last season. A trip to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final may have ended on a bitter note, but it also helped the Bruins bond in a way that couldn’t be duplicated otherwise.
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This is a big reason why the team did not bow their heads before the 2019-20 season and propelled themselves into the spotlight as the best team in the NHL.
One of the real powers in the league, the Bruins led the NHL in wins (44), goal differential (53) and were the only team to reach the 100 point mark before the rescheduling of league activities .
Bruins depth shone
Although the lineup is packed with NHL-caliber talent, some of whom will be forced to sit in the press box for games, the group of players known as the Black Aces will likely have more hands-on experience. this year. than past years.
The Black Aces are a group of additional skaters chosen from the Providence Bruins who complete the playoff list in the event the Bruins are injured in the post-season.
Given how physical and grueling playoff hockey is, it is never more important to have a plethora of depth and a host of safety features in place as a last resort.
Fortunately, the Bruins have tremendous depth throughout their line-up and in their system, which has also helped catapult them into the position they are in. Injuries occur each season, but few teams have been as well equipped as the Bruins to withstand even at the top of their lineup.
If, or possibly when the NHL resumes action, there will no doubt be some sort of pre-action training camp to help players get back on the mat.
Black Aces Bruins Could Play Greater Role This Year
Although the Black Aces have generally been used exclusively as reserve players in the past, their presence could be invaluable this season as the Bruins seek to put their best foot forward in the playoffs.
If the team wants to prepare for a race, they will need to be prepared with training they can trust. Training against some of the best in the AHL is a good extra bonus for the team and it could also be a good opportunity for Providence players to show what they are talking about.
With the Calder Cup playoffs canceled, the Providence Bruins, winners of 12 consecutive games at the break, could not prove themselves in the playoffs despite an excellent year which saw them finish in second place the league and in first place. in their conference.
Preparing against players who could most likely already be in the NHL in some cases could give the Bruins a competitive edge as they dive back into the thick of it once the season is over.
Players like Jack Studnicka, Urho Vakanainen, Trent Frederic, Zach Senyshyn Jakub Zboril, Alex Petrovic and many more could all be on the playoff list and could all play more important roles behind the scenes that many will realize.
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As Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach said, he is in touch with the players and although their season has ended in the AHL, he has asked them to be ready when the time comes.
“I told them, but they know they have a responsibility to hone their craft and make sure they’re ready when the time is called,” said Leach via Zoom. “It will be called and it is only a matter of time and they are very aware of it. “
For many Providence players, including Studnicka, this would be a welcome opportunity, especially after experiencing the Black Ace experience last year.
“I think it was certainly a sign of confidence to be able to be part of this organization. The team has done a great job of making us feel like we are part of it and staying ready, “said Studnicka in a Zoom meeting. “I think I improved a lot better as a hockey player because we skate every day and we were able, with the group we had, to choose certain things that we needed to improve just because we had this time and this luxury. “
Perhaps the Black Aces will play the same role as in the past and despite the circumstances, their impacts will not really change things. It seems more likely than not, however, that they will have a greater impact than in the past, even if the surface is not as clear to most fans.