The Boston Bruins Need To Get a Goal Scorer

Ryan PickardCorrespondent INovember 16, 2009

MONTREAL - JANUARY 24:  Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Atlanta Thrashers looks on from the bench area during the Honda NHL Superskills competition as part of the 2009 NHL All-Star weekend on January 24, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins scored five goals in their game Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they need to go out and get a big-time goal-scorer.

Through the first 19 games of this season the Bruins have scored just 44 goals. That's an average of 2.32 goals per game, good enough for 26th in the NHL. They have also been shut out three times already.

The Bruins last year were right at the top of the league in scoring, but they did not need as many goals since they had one of the strongest defenses in the league. The defense has been just as strong as last year, but the Bruins have been losing because they cannot put enough pucks in the back of the net.

Part of the reason the offense has been so lackluster has to be the injury to Marc Savard. Savard has been out since the seventh game of the season and his absence has been very clear.

Savard has been the Bruins leading scorer for the past couple of years and is one of the best passers in the game, ranking near the top of league in assists. Without him, the offense has stalled. Savard will not be back for at least another three weeks and the Bruins don't want to fall so far behind that they cannot catch up by the time Savard returns.

With that said, the Bruins have to think about going out and trading for a good goal-scorer. It would most likely be Ilya Kovalchuk, who is going to be a free agent at the end of the year and the Atlanta Thrashers are unlikely to sign him when the time comes.

Kovalchuk has played just 11 games and already has 12 goals and six assists. Throughout his six seasons with the Thrashers, he has scored at least 29 goals per season with a career-high 52 in both 2005 and 2007.

The one downside to Kovalchuk is his plus/minus, a stat that can be very overrated. He has never had a plus/minus better than minus-two, but the Thrashers have never been very good when he has been there.

The Bruins have plenty of draft picks that they could put up in a possible trade for Kovalchuk along with a player or two. There have been many rumors, but most include Blake Wheeler and a few of the Bruins' picks.

They have to make sure that if they do end up getting Kovalchuk that they are able to sign him to a deal. They would not do very well if he ends up being just a rent-a-player and they aren't able to win the Cup.

The major factor keeping something like this from happening is the cap hit. The Bruins are very close to the cap and with it expected to go even further down next year, they have to make sure they don't go over.

If the Bruins are able to make this deal happen they would put themselves right back in the running for a shot at the Cup. And with Savard teamed back up with Kovalchuk, they would both benefit greatly.