NHL Trade Speculation: 5 Boston Bruins That Should Be Worried About Their Jobs

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent INovember 10, 2011

NHL Trade Speculation: 5 Boston Bruins That Should Be Worried About Their Jobs

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    The Boston Bruins have won three straight games and have climbed out of the cellar in the Eastern Conference.

    The last week or so has been positive for the Bruins, but there are still several players who need to play better.

    As NHL trading speculation heats up, a number of Bruins players will be possible trade pieces. I'm not saying all the players in this article need to go—just that they could go for a variety of reasons, among them poor play.

    Let's look at five Bruins who should be worried about their jobs.

Johnny Boychuk

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    Johnny Boychuk is in the final year of his contract and will be a hot trade target at the deadline. He's a good defenseman with a rocket shot, and a contending team could offer the Bruins a package for Boychuk that would be hard to refuse.

    Boychuk has played OK this season but has just three points and has 12 PIM.

    Boychuk needs to raise his game another level if he wants the Bruins to consider signing him to a nice long-term contract soon or next summer.

Benoit Pouliot

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    I did not like this signing in the summer, and after a lackluster preseason and start to the regular season, I am still not impressed with Benoit Pouliot.

    He's been scratched in a number of games and hasn't shown enough offensive ability to warrant an everyday role with the club.

    Pouliot has just one goal and is a minus-two this season. Boston should trade him at the deadline for a draft pick.

Nathan Horton

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    I doubt the Bruins would trade Nathan Horton anytime soon, but he does need to play much better than he is right now.

    His four goals and four assists aren't terrible season totals, but he is mightily inconsistent. Last season Horton seemed to take stretches of games off and just coast.

    When as a member of the Florida Panthers, Horton was criticized for this too. His great 2011 playoffs with the Bruins made people forget about his inconsistent regular season.

    Horton needs to be more consistent this season, but it's unlikely he's moved.

Tuukka Rask

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    The Bruins would be foolish to trade young goaltender Tuukka Rask, and even though the team has not scored a lot of goals in games he has started, Rask hasn't been amazing in every game either.

    Rask has played well this season but he has also been a bit poor at times. One problem is he needs to play more regularly. Tuukka has played in just four games this season, while the 37-year-old Tim Thomas has played in 10.

    Rask is a restricted free agent next summer, and as the trade deadline approaches, there is a decent chance the Bruins get a lot of trade offers involving Rask.

    Talented young goaltending with experience is hard to find in the NHL.

David Krejci

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    David Krejci is a very talented center, but he is not a consistent performer in the regular season. He plays very well in the playoffs and led all postseason scorers last year in goals and points. 

    However, Krejci hasn't elevated his game this season and has just seven points and is a minus-two thus far.

    Krejci is a free agent next summer and will likely want $5 million-plus per season in a new deal. He is a good player but he isn't worth top-line center money.

    Let's face it, Krejci isn't Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews or Anze Kopitar. He isn't a "true" top-line center.

    With that said the Bruins will probably do what they can to re-sign him during the season or soon after. If his demands are too much though, I would not be surprised if they traded him or let him walk in the summer.

    For updates on all NHL/Bruins news throughout the season, follow Nick Goss on Twitter. 

    Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins featured columnist for Bleacher Report and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston.