Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo has been a revelation on their back end this season but CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty suggests that in recent games, he’s showing signs of hitting the proverbial rookie wall.
Over the last six games, Carlo’s ice time has been below his season average (21:50) while he was down to just 16 minutes in his last outing against Edmonton, a career low. He also has posted a -10 rating in his last 15 games and while plus/minus doesn’t quite carry the same level of importance nowadays, that’s still far from a good thing.
Rookie struggles, especially for blueliners, is hardly an uncommon thing but considering the fact that Carlo has often been a top pairing player for the Bruins, the pressure on him to turn this rough patch around is that much higher. For his part, Carlo isn’t getting down on himself too much:
“I feel like pucks definitely aren’t bouncing my way as much as they were in the beginning of the year. But that’s something that I just need to continue with, keeping it simple and moving the puck. I’m just trying to keep my gaps up and go through every game and know that I worked my hardest out there.”
The Bruins have been looking for help on the back end dating back to the summer. While Carlo’s emergence as a regular player lessened the need to add someone from outside the organization, GM Don Sweeney could be forced to again join the mass of teams looking to add a defenseman if the 20 year old continues to scuffle.
More from the Atlantic:
- When the Lightning recalled goaltender Adam Wilcox to serve as Andrei Vasilevskiy’s backup, he became the sixth and final player from Tampa Bay’s 2011 draft class to suit up in an NHL game, notes Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times. In fact, all six players were in a Tampa uniform for their last game – forwards Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, and Matthew Peca as well as defenseman Nikita Nesterov. Wilcox’s stint with the Lightning isn’t likely to last too long though. He was brought up in part to allow Kristers Gudlevskis to get some playing time in while Ben Bishop is hoping to be back in the lineup during their six game road trip that kicks off January 16th in Los Angeles.
- Red Wings right winger Gustav Nyquist is at a loss to explain his scoring drought, writes MLive’s Ansar Khan. Despite averaging more ice time and more shots on goal per game, Nyquist is stuck at just four goals on the season with just one of those coming in his last 33 outings. While head coach Jeff Blashill is pleased with his effort level on a night-to-night basis, he’d like to see the 27 year old play less on the perimeter and more around the net.
- The Canadiens announced the signing of German center Markus Eisenschmid to a two year, entry level contract. The 21 year old is in his second season with their AHL affiliate in St. John’s. Through 32 games so far this year, he has six goals and four assists.