The Bruins are playing post season hockey on Wednesday and they’re doing it with Charlie McAvoy in the lineup. If you asked me in December what would be the least likely sentence I’d type all season that one you just read would have been it.
Today the Bruins inked Charlie McAvoy to a three-year entry-level contract. Because of McAvoy’s age playing in this Wednesday’s Game 1 against Ottawa will burn the first year of his three-year deal even if he doesn’t play another game.
But honestly, who gives shit? The Bruins are depleted on the blue line with Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug on the shelf with injuries. They weren’t going to insert Joe Morrow, Rob O’Gara, or a Matt Grzelcyk. And burning a year of McAvoy’s deal still doesn’t get him to unrestricted free agency any sooner either. If Carlo and Krug were healthy then the Bruins would have been perfectly fine keeping Charlie Mac down in Providence for some professional seasoning but it didn’t work out that way so here we are. It’s time.
The only sketchy part of McAvoy playing on Wednesday is he’s a complete wild card. We all want fireworks and he certainly could shine with all of his offense skill and knack for being clutch. Or, with the intensity of playoff hockey being next level stuff, he could find himself not quite ready for the moment. We just don’t know what we’re going to get but the odds of positive return are in the B’s favor.
I certainly don’t think anyone expects McAvoy to flat out struggle, but you have to at least entertain the fact that it’s a possibility we don’t get something like a 2.0 version of Torey Krug’s 2013 playoff run performance when #47 made his NHL debut. But it helps that McAvoy’s first NHL exposure will be against a trap team like the Ottawa Senators and not a team full of hired assassins like the Washington Capitals.
What really needs to happen, McAvoy or no McAvoy, is the Bruins need to eliminate the Senators. Doing that will require more than just our shiny new toy on defense being able to hang. And when the Bruins do oust the Sens, McAvoy, who will be wearing #73, needs to suit up between the pipes against the Habs in the second round and stone wall Claude and his band of merry clowns the same way Michael Ryder did in 2011:
It’s all coming together. It’s supposed to be this way.
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