- Tim Burke
Bruins Defenseman Brandon Carlo deserves respect
Brandon Carlo is the definition of a stay-at-home defenseman. It is uncommon for him to generate any offense when he is on the ice, which is unusual for a defenseman in today's NHL. The goal of the modern defensemen is to help transition their team from defense to offense; quickly and to be heavily involved in the offensive zone. They tend to be extremely mobile and strong puck carriers. Brandon Carlo's game does not fit the mold of a modern NHL defenseman. Over the years, his popularity has declined among the Bruins fanbase, which is not something Carlo deserves. The 6 foot 6 right-shot defenseman is boring to watch but is still a valuable asset for the Boston Bruins. He plays the hard, heavy minutes by killing penalties and blocking shots. That is all Brandon Carlo does on a nightly basis. Since the start of the 2017-2018 season, Carlo's 970:32 Short-Handed Time On Ice is the most on the Boston Bruins, his 410 blocked shots are second on the team behind Charlie McAvoy, and he is second on the team in hits with 564. The style of play of a stay-at-home defenseman is still something we appreciate in Boston.
Fellow Bruins blue liner Derek Forbort plays a similar type of hockey, and he is beloved, admired, and respected by the Bruins fanbase. Why is that not the case with Carlo? Why do fans not like him? Yes, Carlo is out there for the occasional goal against, and sometimes he makes mistakes, but that is not uncommon for a stay-at-home defenseman. It is not pretty or glorious to kill penalties and block shots, but it is a job that is not only important and difficult but also essential. It is a job Brandon Carlo does quite well. Defensemen like Carlo are a dying breed but could not be more valuable to teams seeking to win a Stanley Cup. Bruins fans need to pump the brakes on the Carlo hate. He is an X-Factor in their quest to win the Cup. He is a strong, hard working, and intelligent player the Bruins can rely on. He deserves more respect than what Bruins fans give him.