Opinion: Who Benefits the Most After the Orlov Arrival?

Boston Bruins' Jeremy Swayman (1), Charlie McAvoy (73), Hampus Lindholm (27) and Brandon Carlo (25) celebrate after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

When the Boston Bruins acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov along with Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals before the trade deadline, General Manager Don Sweeney was looking to provide depth at left defense and a physical upgrade from Matt Grzelcyk, who has had difficulty with the physicality of playoff hockey in recent postseasons. What has also occurred with the acquisition of Orlov is the renewed effectiveness of defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Carlo is a solid, stay-at-home defenseman who has had his fair share of injuries and ups and downs as a member of the Boston Bruins over the last seven seasons. The 2015 second-round draft pick played a full 82 games as a 20-year-old in his first season in the NHL. In that first season, Carlo played an average of 20:49 of ice time and recorded 115 blocks with 87 hits. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound defenseman immediately became an important core member of the Bruins, but fans always seemed to want more. In their eyes, Carlo was never physical enough and did not play the same style as fellow defender Zdeno Chara. Carlo’s toughness was questioned. Then injuries would cause the Colorado native to miss postseason time, leaving fans to wonder if Carlo would ever meet his potential.

This season, Carlo started slowly but had come on since the trade that brought Orlov on board. Now Carlo can focus on not providing offense and does not have to bring the physical game to offset Grzelcyk’s skating, puck-moving style. Carlo is able to be a force on the penalty kill and registered 4:41 of shorthanded ice time in the Bruins’ Game 4 win Sunday. Carlo spent an average of 18:50 on ice in the regular season, which is down almost two minutes from his career average. The big defenseman seems refreshed and has returned to the shutdown defender the Bruins drafted in 2015.

The biggest thing for Carlo has always been his confidence level. Carlo is more assertive with the puck and makes fewer mistakes in his own zone. The Bruins have three top blue liners in Orlov, Hampus Lindholm, and Charlie McAvoy, and they all play big minutes. A lot of the pressure is taken off of Carlo now, and it shows in his play, with 13 blocks in the four playoff games.

Brandon Carlo has changed from being a frustrating player for Bruins fans to becoming a great value at 4.1 million dollars per season for the next four seasons. The 26-year-old Carlo is now an unsung hero in these playoffs and a reason why the Bruins are a win away from moving on to the second round.

Season 3. Episode 43. Goal Scorers and A-Holes Bruins Benders Podcast

The Bruins have over $21 million in cap space. Would Reilly Smith be a good add?  How about Brenden Dillon or Dakota Joshua? Capitals take over CapFriendly. Bruins getting back into the first round? DraftKings Sportsbook – Boston’s hometown Sportsbook is LIVE right here in Massachusetts! Bet local on all your favorite sports from the comfort of your own home with DraftKings. To celebrate, ALL new customers will receive up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets when you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook using code ITR! You can now bet local on money lines, spreads, props, and more with one of America’s top-rated Sportsbooks – DraftKings Sportsbook!  Download the DraftKings Sportsbook app and sign up with code ITR to get up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets to use now that mobile sports betting is live in Massachusetts. That’s code ITR only at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 800 327-5050 or visit helplineMA.org to speak with a trained specialist, free and confidentially, twenty four seven. 21+. Physically present in MA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. Opt in required. Bonus issued aree bets. Terms at draftkings.com/MA.
  1. Season 3. Episode 43. Goal Scorers and A-Holes
  2. Season 3. Episode 42. Long Off-season Week 2
  3. Season 3. Episode 41. Long Off-Season Week 1
  4. Season 3. Episode 40. There’s Always Next Year
  5. Bruins Benders Postgame Live. Game 6 Recap

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