The Boston Bruins are in a rut. Plain and simple. The Bruins started out the 2016-2017 season promising. Through November the team was looking like a top Eastern conference team. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand were scoring in bunches. Bergeron was doing what he does to create opportunities. Since then, Pastrnak has slowed down, leaving Marchand as the only consistent threat. The Bruins have lost 2 straight. You would think “this is a mini slump” or “they’ll right the ship” but it’s the way they lost that’s telling us this team is not good enough to make and/or do anything in the post season with current the roster.
The loss to the Islanders this past Monday, in The Garden was as bad as it gets. There was no points that would cause a fan to say “well at least there were signs that the Bruins still have what it takes”. Then Wednesday night, Julien inserted Frank Vatrano in the slumping Pasternak’s slot on the top line to see how good this youngster really is. He scored 2 goals in the 1st period of 4 goals by the Bruins. Claude made the right decision to put Vatrano on the 1st line and the Bruins looked to have turned a corner with their inconsistent playing of late. That tells me Claude has seen something we haven’t.
Then the first period ended and so went the Bruins momentum. From that 2nd period on the Bruins looked like a different team. The Red Wings scored 3 goals in the 2nd to make it 4-3. You barely saw any signs of life in the Bruins as the Red Wings fought back into the game.
Goal by goal. Social media was souring “Claude’s got to go!” With the exception for a lone Adam McQuaid goal, nothing in the 2nd period was good. The Red Wings came out in the 3rd period and took the Bruins lunch money. They out-skated, outworked and out played the Bruins to force OT tied at 5-5 only to win in shootout when Frans Nielson undressed Rask on a back hand shot top corner. If you’re a Bruins fan you’re disgusted. The Red Wing fans can use this as a turning point for their season.
This past off-season, the Bruins made one of the best moves we’ve seen in a long time. They signed Brad Marchand to an 8 year extension. Besides this bargain, the Bruins did nothing more to stay competitive. David Backes signed a 5 year deal at a whopping 30 million, Torey Krug 4 year extension for 21 million. Kevan Miller signed a 4 year extension for 10 million and Adam McQuaid 4 years for 11 million in 2015. There’s 72 million not including the smaller signings that could have revamped this team.
Besides Marchand, the salaries doled out to the others with huge contracts with their skill-set drying up are Jimmy Hayes 3 years 6.9 and Matt Belesky 5 year 19 million for a 4th line winger. Boy did scouting get all of these wrong. We could go on about what we saw unfold in the last week forever so we’ll move on.
One player is not the solution. The Bruins need to really be creative and work overtime maybe creating a three team deal acquiring maybe two to three players lineup insert-able that would pay dividends immediately. All resources say that Brandon Carlo would be the Bruins bargaining chip. I’m not okay with that. Carlo is young, strong and at times has impressed us with his ability. If he brings you more than Landeskog, I may soften on my stance. A lot of teams are sellers. They will ask for the world knowing the Bruins will bite on a deal that’s one-sided out of desperation. I’d rather see our own players brought up and get the opportunity to do something at the NHL level. There’s no need to raid the pantry for uncertainties
Gabriel Landeskog rumored on Bruins radar
Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make. Of 3 AHL prospects the Bruins have, Peter Cehlarik, Danton Heinen or Jake DeBrusk might respond to a mid-season call up. We also have amateur prospects 2016 first round draft pick, Charlie McEvoy. Named captain of the USA World Juniors Ice Hockey Champions this month. Zach Senyshyn is another prospect that is an option. If this were the Coyotes or the Avs these players would have made a debut by now. This Bruins team needs better players.
Firing Claude Julien is not going to make this team better. You’ll hear cliche’s like “Something needs to change” or “It starts with the coach”. I call those fans out to explain who the front office could bring in to wave their wand and create a contender with this team better than Claude Julien? Ask them who is more qualified to coach this team to the postseason as it stands now?
Claude Julien on the hot seat for lack of talent in Boston.
Claude Julien as Bruins 27th coach:
- 10 Years – Longest tenured Bruins coach.
- Boston’s all-time coaching wins leader- 388 Wins (500 NHL wins).
- Won the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s top coach in 2008-09 and NHL Coach of the Year honors from The Sporting News that season.
- His regular season record with Bruins stands at 9 years 393-223-88 with a .621 win percentage.
- Made post season 7 of the 9 years he holds the club career coaching record for playoff games won at 57.
- Was coach in 2011 with the club’s first Stanley Cup championship since 1972 and in 2013 with a return to the Stanley Cup Final.
This Bruin team needs forwards with the emphasis on the plural as well as defensive help. NHL starters. What that means player-wise or monetarily for the Bruins falls on squarely Don Sweeney and Cam Neely. We as writers and fans have the easy job; judging those decisions. If the Bruins fire Claude and it’s thought the team gave up too much and received less than fair