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Morning Skate: Ups and downs

Win some, lose some.

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NHL: MAR 07 Kings at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It is Wednesday, my dudes.

The Bruins will enjoy another game-free day today, as they’re not back in action until tomorrow night at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

After that, it’s a Saturday visit from the Arizona Coyotes, then back on the road.

In doing some reading around BruinsLand on the off day, I came across this piece by Fluto Shinzawa in The Athletic.

While the premise (“the Bruins need help on defense”), one assessment of the main subject of the article surprised me.

From the piece, a comment about Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly:

“I don’t think he can play defense,” said one NHL source.

Tell us how you really feel, source!

While it’s true that Reilly wasn’t brought in to provide true, shutdown defense, it seems a little harsh to say that he “can’t play defense.”

It appears the intention was to say that he can’t play true, “close the gaps, eliminate your opponent” type defense, but even then, “can’t play” seems kind of harsh for a guy who is part of a blue line that is doing fairly well statistically.

Reilly was a guy who made a positive impact after arriving from Ottawa, earning himself a contract extension after last season.

He’s certainly had his fair share of struggles this season, but I wouldn’t point to him as being “the” problem on the back-end.

Maybe that’s just me.

Today’s discussion topic

As mentioned above, Bruins defenders are pretty good statistically (or were at the late-February time of that chart’s publishing).

Do you see that as the forwards propping up the defenders, or is the focus on the Bruins’ blue line overblown? Maybe a little of both?

Bonus topic: discuss Reilly’s play so far this season.