Were we all wrong?
About the Boston Bruins lack of activity at the trade deadline, that is? Or moreso, lack of any substantial activity at the deadline? Well, they have won 2 of the 3 games since then…and even though they lost the other in overtime, they may have been the tip of a Loui Eriksson skate from actually winning that one as well.
And no one expected the team to be in that game against the Capitals. Nor win the one against the Blackhawks. The Flames? Sure. But combine those 3 with the game against the game tonight against the Panthers and the game tomorrow against the Lightning and most saw “1-4” as the sum total for this stretch.
Me? I saw maybe “2-3”. But that really isn’t the larger point. As noted in the piece before the deadline, I was up any one of a number of potential moves by the B’s. This team is not winning the Stanley Cup this year. The minor upgrades they made at the deadline did nothing to change that.
So I believe we were not wrong…that the organization needed to do a lot more to move forward. Not moving Loui Eriksson is inexcusable. Cam Neely recently said they were not offered a first rounder or even 2 seconds for Loui. How could that be possible? Loui is a pretty good player. I have to imagine that they received a decent enough offer for him, even if it wasn’t what the team was looking for specifically. They should have jumped. I know, easy for me to say. But you want to lose him for nothing? Or re-sign him for silly money? Not me.
The rest of the moves: Adding Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles through trades (giving up a slew of draft picks in the process…and some dude named Anthony Camara as well); recalling Noel Acciari; dumping Joonas Kemppainen, Zac Rinaldo and Max Talbot to Providence.
Sure, Stempniak looks a whole hell of a lot better than Brett Connolly on the Marchand/Bergeron line…so far anyway. And is Liles better than Joe Morrow or Zach Trotman right this second? Strong possibility…but that is for 19 games the rest of the season…and MAYBE a round or two in the playoffs. But you gave up decent assets for these guys (you may as well also throw in the 3rd rounder dealt last year for the demoted Rinaldo). And they will only make the team marginally better going forward and then likely leave after the year. Was all the draft capital worth it?
To Jeremy and Charlie Jacobs it may. Probably gets them a couple more home playoff games to line their pockets. I’m sure to long-time Bruins fans, this comes as a major surprise. Not.
But it also leaves 3 young defensemen either on the bench or in Providence in Morrow, Trotman and Colin Miller (though either Morrow or Trotman will replace Kevan Miller for a stretch anyway). Again, who knows if these guys are legitimate NHL players. But isn’t this year the time to find out?
Speaking of finding out more, I suppose it’s ok to dump those 3 4th line stiffs named above. No problem there. Acciari? Why not? Frank Vatrano had a little success in the NHL earlier, then quietly got sent down. Now he has 29 goals in 28 games in Providence. May be time for another look there. Seth Griffith has had a chance or two in Boston. Now he has 63 points in 48 games in the minors. Another look deserved there too? I suppose I can live with Acciari/Landon Ferraro/Connolly on the 4th line for now though. Claude hates his young players anyway…
Getting back to the schedule…the last 2 games were nice, I suppose. But let’s look deeper. Washington and Chicago were playing the 2nd night of a back to back. They were on the road. They both played their backup goalies. Aaaah…these games don’t look as impressive now, do they? Ok, that may be oversimplifying it, but still…
Look what else is coming up. A 4 game trip. The 4 games? San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles, New York Rangers. Yikes! Bruins apologists may point to the fact that the team has approximately the same points as all four of those teams. That may be true, but is anyone out there thinking better than one and three on that trip? I doubt it.
Furthermore, those same Bruins apologists are saying that “other than Washington, who scares you in the East?” And, “Washington ALWAYS chokes in the playoffs!!”. Those statements may in fact be generally true as well. But I think most people who watch the games don’t think that the Bruins can match up with a lot of teams in the East, especially in a seven game series. Plus, the whole Washington choking thing? Every year is different. So who knows which Capital team shows up in the upcoming postseason?
Others may point to “having a hot goalie” can propel a team to a long Stanley Cup run. No doubt it has happened before. But does anyone have real confidence Tuukka can be that guy? If the D was stronger, perhaps. But not with the current D core. And…did you see the game-losing goal against the Caps? Soft, in my opinion. Like a lot of the ones that flutter by your boy Tuuks on a semi-regular basis.
In summary, this is still the same Boston Bruin team I feel. Losing a little more confidence in Cam Neely as the days go on. Never had much confidence in Don Sweeney, but I guess it is still early in his tenure. And we all know the Jacobs’ history.
Maybe these guys will prove me wrong…not counting on it though…
Posted on March 7, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Cam Neely. Trade deadline, Chicago Blackhawks, Claude Julien, Don Sweeney, Jeremy Jacobs, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, NHL, Stanley Cup playoffs, Tuukka Rask, Washington Capitals. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.