What Happened to the Boston Bruins?
Two years removed from a Stanley Cup, the expectations of the Boston Bruins have never been higher. During that Stanley Cup run, when you thought of the Bruins you thought of toughness, hitting, fighting and intimidation. Teams used to be afraid to play the Bruins, and the Buffalo Sabres went as far as to change the entire complexion of their team just in order to match the Bruins toughness. The Bruins played an old school style of hockey. It seems that this year they have lost that edge. On paper, the Bruins should be one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL, with players like David Krejci, Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand and newly acquired Jaromir Jagr. However, this team really struggles to put the puck in the net. The B’s are scoring less than three goals per game, which is putting an enormous amount of pressure on Tuukka Rask and the Bruins defensemen who are already shorthanded.
Nothing makes a fan more frustrated than watching how the Bruins have been playing lately. They play without energy, without emotion, and they seem to have lost the ability to sense when it’s time to dig in and score that big goal or hold their opponents This is seen primarily in the fact that the Bruins have lost five games this season when leading by a goal after two periods. To put it in perspective, last year the Bruins were 32-0-0 when leading after two periods. So what has changed? I think it’s all about intensity and getting back to the basics.
This team has another level that they can get to. We’ve all seen it, we just haven’t seen it this year. This team should be able to blow teams out on certain nights. It is a shortened season and the month of March was brutal for them, but as fans we should be very worried about this team going forward. I thought for sure last night was going to be the night where this team showed us what they were going to do in the playoffs. Last meeting against the Montreal Canadiens this season with first place on the line and they lay a complete stinker. How does a team have a 6 on 4 power play and pass up shot after shot until the buzzer sounds? The Canadiens have the Bruins’ number this season, and quite frankly, no team will be an easy win for the B’s in the playoffs.
Moving forward, the play of Milan Lucic needs to improve drastically for this team to have a shot. In the past when he wasn’t contributing offensively he was very physical, and when he wasn’t physical he was scoring. Now, he’s doing neither. He seems very uninterested and is wasting David Krejci’s skill on the first line. You look at the first line and you have the finesse guy, the goal scorer and the big cruncher. They should be producing more than the Seguin line, but realistically all they are doing is turning it over in the neutral zone which is never a good thing. Plain and simple, if this team doesn’t turn it around they will have a short lived playoff run and will have a ton of unhappy, disappointed fans.