The Bruins suffered a disappointing but not unexpected loss against the Maple Leafs last night in Toronto.
It was a product of youthful mistakes, veteran inconsistency and the team’s early season search for secondary offense with the Marchand /Backes/Pastrnak line providing the only consistent source of dangerous chances. The lack of healthy Patrice Bergeron and the late absence of a sore Tuukka Rask certainly didn’t help either. While the comeback against Columbus on Thursday was an exhilarating offensive thrill ride coupled with the promise the young Bruins contributing in a largely positive fashion, yesterday’s loss was a bit of reality check to balance out our fantasies. But these ups and down are what most level headed fans with a realistic opinion of this team’s capabilities are expected going into this season.
Unfortunately Bruins ownership is apparently suffering from dementia due to a lack of playoff revenue.
Bruins owner and Chief Operating Corpse Jeremy Jacobs emerged from his sarcophagus earlier this week to say that he expects the Bruins to go on “deep playoff run” and he sighted the resurgance of the San Jose Sharks as his example.
JJ and his attendant Necromancers need to cut back on the happy injections.
Hey JJ, just take a look at the defensive cores involved here and see if you spot the difference.
The San Jose Sharks have not one but TWO defensemen in Marc Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns who are not only top pairing caliber D in the prime of their careers, but both also received Norris Trophy consideration last season with Burns coming in 3rd. The Sharks also went out and signed veteran Paul Martin, who immediately added depth and versatility to their defense.
The Bruins D is in a state of transition. Mainstays like Boychuk, Ference and Siedenberg are gone. Chara is 40 and it shows. John Michael Liles is a useful veteran but not a defensive mainstay. Torey Krug is still fighting to prove he can handle top 4 minutes. Kevin Miller and Adam McQuaid, are injury prone, 3rd pairing D being forced to play more minutes than they warrant. Brandon Carlo, Rob O’Gara, Colin Miller and Joe Morrow are all young with little to almost no NHL experience.
To think that anyone currently on the Bruins roster could provide even a poor facsimile of the Sharks D is foolhardy. It’s the product of someone who cares about revenue above results and obviously doesn’t have NHL league pass in his mausoleum.
What JJ really liked about the Sharks playoff run was that San Jose hosted 12 out of a 13 possible home games. That is a lot of fresh organic hay for him and Hop-Along Charlie’s pretty ponies at the family horse farm. If only JJ paid attention, he’d know that adding a few more horses on his hockey team’s blue line would mean he wouldn’t have to worry about the Garden being emptier than his soul come April and May.
These aren’t just harmless ownership directives either.
The past to seasons, a “playoffs or else, mandate has cost this team three 2nd, a 3rd a 4th and a 5th round picks on deadline trades that failed to propel the team into the playoffs and cost them an opportunity to realistically threaten an offersheet to the kind of young emerging defensemen that the Bruins sorely lack. Holding on to players like Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg in ill advised playoff runs, when deadline prices skyrocketed in 2014 especially, and allowing them to walk for almost nothing also further retarded the Bruins badly needed defensive rebuild.
If this years Bruins team is once again saddled with the delusional playoffs or bust mandate, we will be looking at the kind of rebuild that Calgary is just now starting to emerge from. A wasteful 8 year period where they made the playoffs once despite misguided attempt after attempt to rebuild on the fly. Do you want the Bruins to sell off an aging Bergeron like the Flames did with Iginla because they couldn’t stomach a brief rebuild?
Because that is where this team is headed if the front office isn’t given enough time to undo recent damage and find real solutions for long term success.
This years Bruins team needs a lot of things. Delusional ultimatums from the Undead aren’t one of them.