ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose joined Middays with MFB to discuss the NHL trade deadline and the Bruins’ playoff prospects heading into the stretch run. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Sunday night, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli traded two second-round draft picks to the Lightning for 22-year-old forward Brett Connolly.
“I like Connolly,” Melrose said. “He’s a good young player. I think he’s certainly somebody down the road that could play some big minutes for the Boston Bruins. But I don’t know if he’s good enough to put them in the playoffs.”
Added Melrose: “[Connolly] is a good player, he’s a good young kid, he’s been successful where he’s been, but he’s not ready to change the fortunes of the Boston Bruins right now.”
The trade deadline is Monday at 3 p.m., and the Bruins still have time to make another deal.
“Make a deal, get a player that you need to make your team better,” Melrose said, discussing whether the Bruins will make more moves before the deadline. “Get [David] Krejci back, and all of a sudden you become a really good team instead of just a team hoping to make the playoffs.”
The Bruins currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers, who recently added future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr, are just two points behind.
“You saw Jagr go to Florida, Florida’s won two games since that’s happened,” Melrose said, adding: “It basically comes down to a playoff battle between Boston and Florida, and I think they play each three times yet. I just think Boston’s got to do more to make sure that they make a playoff spot.”
Added Melrose: “If the Boston Bruins miss the playoffs right now, probably some people will lose their jobs.”
However, Melrose believes that the Bruins will be able to hold on and finish the regular season in playoff position.
“I just can’t believe that [the Bruins] will be outplayed the last 20 games of the season by the Florida Panthers,” Melrose said.
For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.