Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
My nine-year-old had a hard time understanding the fact that the Bruins weren’t going to the playoffs. “They stink,” he huffed. And I wanted to sit him down and explain to him that he hasn’t seen anything. A missed playoff year is nothing compared to what most of us as Bruins fans have gone through over the years.
But is sure as hell is a disappointment. And, as Patrice Bergeron said, it never “should have come to this.” Well, maybe it should have, in order for us to get the changes that this team so desperately needs.
This team was flawed from the get go, trading Johnny Boychuk on the eve of the opener in a move that made less and less sense as the season wore on. Not even adequately replacing Jarome Iginla also killed them, as they had no one to bury the chances they continued to get.
And obviously the roster mismanagement in general was a disaster. Aside from the big ones like Boychuk and Iginla, other questionable moves killed the team’s depth and assets to perhaps make other moves. Sure, GM Peter Chairelli likely didn’t make any bigger moves because he thought this was a transition year. Fine. Then sell. Inaction wasn’t really an option either way, but that is what we got, and the results spoke for themselves.
The coach isn’t absolved of any blame here either. Perhaps the “disconnect” that is starting to be floated a bit in Bruins MediaLand stems from the fact that Chairelli wanted to get younger on the 4th line (and perhaps elsewhere) and the coach refused, instead going with old reliables like Chris Kelly, Greg Campbell and Daniel Paille, much to the disservice of the rest of the team. One has to wonder the real reason that Ryan Spooner, Zach Trotman, and Joe Morrow, to name a few, didn’t get more of a shot this year.
All of this may cost them both their jobs. And it’s probably for the best.
Oh, and don’t think I forgot about the players. Complacency set it, as jobs were never really on the line and basically every member of the “core” had no trade or no movement clauses. Carl Soderberg, Milan Lucic, Dennis Seidenberg and Reilly Smith are among those that did not play up to expectations. And they may all be elsewhere next year.
This team needs fixing. Sure, they had 96 points which is the highest total ever for a non-playoff team, so it’s not entirely broken. But there are holes, and some serious decisions that need to be made in order for this team to get back to the playoffs next season. The teams in their division aren’t going away. Sure, Ottawa will likely come back to earth a bit, but Montreal, Tampa, Detroit should be strong, and Florida is on the upswing.
The Bruins needs an infusion of young, cheap talent that will become the next great, or at least really good, Bruins team. And it needs a management team with guts, foresight and the flexibility to make deals that help the team when they need it.
“I’ll give the Bruins credit, though, my nine-year-old said. They worked hard.”
Did they, really? Can everyone in the organization legitimately say they worked as hard as they possibly could to put the best product on the ice? They may have worked hard, but management didn’t work smart, and the players didn’t work hard enough on many nights. And the results spoke for themselves at the end of they day.
This rebuild/reboot/reset is certainly not going to be easy. And it might not be pretty. But it’s reality.