Boston Bruins

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MARCH 09: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins (c) celebrates his power-play goal at 19:32 of the first period against the New York Islanders and is joined by Brad Marchand #63 (l) and Matt Grzelcyk #48 (r) at the Nassau Coliseum on March 09, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

There’s a golden opportunity for someone on the Bruins roster this upcoming season.

With both Nick Ritchie and David Krejci out of town, and with Charlie Coyle not ready for game action just yet, the Black and Gold’s top power-play unit is in need of a fifth player. And there’s no shortage of internal candidates for Bruce Cassidy.

The Bruins started out with Nick Foligno in that spot earlier this week during an extensive power-play session, but it will appear that the first NHLer-heavy lineup will come with Taylor Hall getting the call in that spot for the Bruins, and as the Ritchie-like, Coyle-esque net-front presence for a Boston power-play grouping that’s admittedly got its constants.

“The other spots are pretty solidified so he’s fine with [the front of the net],” Cassidy said. “He did it in Edmonton for years way back when. We’ll give him a shot. We know [Foligno] can play down there, we’ve had Jake [DeBrusk] there in the past.

“That’s a coveted spot.”

Is it ever.

Last year alone, the Bruins’ big three on that top power-play unit (Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak) combined for 17 power-play goals, while Ritchie scored a career-best five power-play goals while workin the net-front, dirty areas on that unit.

And in case you’re wondering, the 29-year-old Hall scored a career-high 13 power-play goals during his Hart Trophy season in New Jersey, and had 13 strikes on the man advantage for the 2011-12 Oilers. Skating in a second unit role with the Bruins in 2021, Hall scored one goal and six points on the power play.

Should Hall fall flat in this role, Foligno would seemingly be the next man up, as he’s always played the net-front role on the power play, and can replicate a lot of what Ritchie did in 2021, but perhaps with a bit more mobility.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.