How Leafs’ commerce for Ryan O’Reilly, Noel Acciari impacts Bruins earlier than deadline

How Leafs buying O’Reilly, Acciari impacts Bruins earlier than commerce deadline initially appeared on NBC Sports activities Boston

The Boston Bruins’ path by the Jap Convention to the 2023 Stanley Cup Remaining simply bought much more troublesome.


The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired facilities Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues on Friday night time in a blockbuster commerce that concerned a number of prospects and draft picks, in addition to a 3rd workforce within the Minnesota Wild. The Leafs gave up a 2023 first-round decide however held on to their finest prospects.

The Leafs will enter the weekend 13 factors behind the Bruins within the Atlantic Division, and they’re just one level forward of the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place. It’s mainly a certainty that the Leafs and Lightning will play within the first spherical for the second consecutive season, and now the battle for residence ice benefit in that sequence has been heightened. Tampa Bay defeated Toronto in Recreation 7 on the street final 12 months.

NHL commerce deadline: Up to date Bruins rumors and commerce targets

The Leafs gave up a bunch of draft picks for 2 leases. It’s a daring transfer for them. How does this big commerce influence the Bruins forward of the March 3 NHL commerce deadline?

Right here’s a fast breakdown.

Leafs are a extra formidable playoff opponent

Bruins followers can giggle on the Leafs all they need, however there’s little question that that is essentially the most gifted and deepest roster Toronto has put collectively in a very long time.

The Leafs rank seventh in each objectives scored and objectives allowed, they usually personal the league’s sixth-best energy play. They’re No. 14 on the penalty kill, and the additions of O’Reilly and Acciari ought to assist in that space. O’Reilly, when wholesome, is among the many high two-way facilities within the league. He’s additionally a former Selke Trophy winner. Acciari is a troublesome, dependable fourth-liner who can kill penalties and supply loads of truculence.

Depth down the center is important for playoff success, particularly if you must play the Bruins and their three-headed monster of Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Charlie Coyle. After this commerce, you would make a case that Toronto’s depth and expertise at heart is nearly as good or higher than some other workforce.

  • First line: Auston Matthews

  • Second line: John Tavares

  • Third line: Ryan O’Reilly

  • Fourth line: Noel Acciari/David Kampf

This commerce additionally offers the Leafs beneficial playoff expertise. O’Reilly helped the Blues beat the Bruins in Recreation 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Remaining and he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He is aware of what it takes to battle by 4 rounds and get the job finished. The Leafs haven’t received a playoff sequence since 2004 and have been eradicated within the first spherical six straight years. O’Reilly will assist the (principally) younger and inexperienced Leafs combat by the adversity of the postseason.

If the Bruins win their first-round sequence and the Leafs beat the Lightning, we might see these Authentic Six rivals sq. off within the second spherical. The B’s beat the Leafs in Recreation 7 of the primary spherical in 2013, 2018 and 2019. Given the standard and depth of the Leafs’ roster after this commerce, one other seven-game sequence versus Toronto can be a grueling and troublesome matchup for Boston.

The Bruins would have residence ice benefit, although, barring a seismic collapse over the following two months.

Bruins may make a name to the Blues, too

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The Blues seem like in full promote mode proper now. They traded star proper wing Vladimir Tarasenko to the New York Rangers final week, and now O’Reilly and Acciari are gone.

One other heart on the Blues roster rumored to be obtainable is Ivan Barbashev. Buying the 27-year-old ahead would give the B’s a flexible, middle-six presence who can produce offensively, kill penalties and add toughness to the lineup. He additionally was on the 2019 Blues title workforce.

The asking worth for Barbashev reportedly is a second-round decide and a prospect. Andy Strickland of Bally Sports activities Midwest reported earlier this week that the B’s are “very interested” in Barbashev.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was on the Blues’ workers final season when Barbashev had the very best 12 months of his profession with 26 objectives and 34 assists (each profession highs).

Along with one other ahead, the Bruins additionally can be sensible to bolster the depth of their blue line. Whether or not it’s a significant acquisition like Arizona Coyotes star Jakob Chychrun or a smaller depth transfer for somebody like Luke Schenn of the Vancouver Canucks, one other veteran presence on the again finish would profit the B’s within the playoffs when accidents will inevitably be an element.

Another matchup in April

The season sequence between the Bruins and Leafs, which Boston leads 2-1-0, concludes April 6 at TD Backyard.

It could possibly be an necessary sport for each groups. The Bruins are pursuing the No. 1 total seed and residential ice benefit all through the playoffs, and the Leafs try to carry off the Lightning for residence ice in Spherical 1.