Category Archives: Bruins

A Clarification

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I feel the need to clarify a little something about this year’s Bruins team.

I wanted them to win, and I wanted them to be in the playoffs.

“But Jay, most of your columns were about wanting the Bruins to lose. Could you clarify?”

Indeed.

See, in order for change to happen with the Bruins, there needs to be catastrophe. It’s a shame that it’s come to this but had the team made the playoffs and advanced a round (which I didn’t think was going to happen) they would have probably saved everyone’s jobs.

Chiarelli would have got the team to the playoffs again. Had them advance out of the first round again. And if somehow the team had forced a game seven in their second round loss, he could have pointed to just a couple of puck bounces away from the Conference Finals again.

Julien would be lauded for his sticktoitiveness with the Chris Kellys and Daniel Pailles on the team. Meanwhile burying guys like Ryan Spooner and David Pastrňák up on the ninth floor because they turned over the puck once in practice in October.

The culture around the Bruins needed to be changed and the only way change was going to be affected was with their collapse down the stretch and them missing the playoffs.

Now the real question looming is, do the Jacobs have the balls to do a complete overhaul? Will they eat Claude’s deal? Will they eat Chiarelli’s money? Or is this simply a reincarnation of the Harry Sinden ear where we’re going to be saddled with Chiarelli for a long, long time?

Hopefully these questions are answered sooner than later. Personally, I’m sick of the Claude/Chiarelli combo and would welcome new blood even if it means a down year for the club. Long term future success is worth it.

Here’s hoping the Jacobs have the balls to pull the trigger and the new GM can also pull the trigger and overhaul this team.

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Dreading It

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Listening to sports radio as I’m prone to do, I heard a very scary realization.

Should the Celtics and the Bruins miss the playoffs, all we’re going to have to talk about starting around mid-April is going to be the Red Sox.

I’m being 100% honest, they aren’t even on my periphery at this point. I don’t really pay attention when they talk about the Red Sox during the updates. I know a bunch of the roster, but don’t know how anyone has really done this spring.

Oh this is going to suck. With no deep playoff run by either of the Garden teams, it’s going to be a ton of baseball and not much else.

This is going to suck.

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They’re Out

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Last night as the Bruins were idle, the Senators were not. The Sens were hosting the Sharks in Ottawa and took advantage of their opportunity. They dropped a five spot on the Sharks and in the process knocked the Bruins out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Good.

Like I was saying yesterday, I really don’t want the Bruins to make the playoffs for their one-and-done opportunity. Instead I want that to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and starts a complete overhaul of the team.

As I’ve stated many times, the Theo Epstein-esque man crushes that Chiarelli has for his own guys really hurt this team. Instead of a window of three or four years with a solid core, they overpaid their own guys who got high on the hog with their contracts. They became complacent and some nights wouldn’t even try.

Just going through the motions doesn’t cut it and major changes need to happen. So stay hot Ottawa. Maybe the Panthers and Flyers can get hot too and push the Bruins down a little. Give the new GM a higher draft pick this summer.

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Falling Fast

tuukka

I was a little late getting the game turned on yesterday afternoon. And when I did it was 3-1 Tampa Bay at the start of the second period. Like a car crash I continued to watch as Tuukka was pulled and they went down 4-1.

I’m not blowing taps on the trumpet yet on this season, but the horn is out of its case. 10 games left, only four at home, and they’re playing teams they lose to down the stretch. Not a good combo.

Even if they sneak into the playoffs I think they’re a one and done team (yes again). They’ve showed no consistency at all this year.

So listening to sports radio, one of the guys was arguing that you give Peter Chiarelli the chance this off-season to right his wrongs. Let him untangle the mess the team is in and rebuild the roster over the summer.

How about no.

He’s done nothing to try and improve the team since they won the Cup. He’s traded away young, albeit immature, talent for cents on the dollar. If the Seigun trade didn’t seal his fate in most people’s minds the Boychuk trade absolutely did. If that’s not enough, look at his inept drafting ability. They’ve hit on nothing.

So I vote to can the GM and I also vote to can the head coach. Sorry Claude. The team can’t trade all 23 guys on the roster and you can’t coach the guys they have.

So overhaul what you can on the roster (like my unpopular trading Lucic idea), clean up the cap, and install a new system that somehow manufactures offense. What’s there now isn’t cutting it.

It’s going to be a long month as they limp to the finish and their April tee times (thanks Joe).

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Krejci to Long Term IR

David Krejčí

The debate on sports radio was do they or don’t they put David Krejci on the long term IR. The argument for was the freeing up of cap space, the argument against was that he’d only have two weeks to play in the regular season before the post season starts.

Also mixed into the salary cap part was the fact that the Bruins could add another four plus million in salary via trade and then activate Krejci for the post season. By doing it that way they’d circumvent the salary cap for the regular season and probably raise the ire of the NHL according to Cam Neely.

At this point, I think that Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien both should be fearful of losing their jobs. Claude because the players aren’t performing to their best, and Chiarelli for screwing the cap so badly as I’ve outlined previously.

So why wouldn’t Chiarelli screw the pooch with the cap and “raise the ire of the NHL”? I mean, if the team doesn’t make the playoffs he’s likely out of a job. So why not pull out all the stops? Why not add a few pieces that fill in that Krejci salary space and then activate him in the playoffs. Worst case scenario, you don’t make the playoffs and you’re fired anyways. Best case, you load up your roster for a potential run.

In both cases I don’t know who you’d replace them with. I’m so sick of the retreads in the NHL. Mike Millbury is a name being tossed around but his last coaching gig was almost 10 years ago as the Islanders coach. Not sure if he’s the answer in the “new” NHL.

Either way, the trade deadline is Monday. We better see something happen.

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Bruins Limping Home

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With losses to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and St Louis the B’s limped into Chicago on Sunday afternoon. Limped in without their top line center and if I were a betting man, I would have bet the house on the Blackhawks.

But somehow the team overcame the adversity and routed the Blackhawks 6-2.

This win quieted the #FireChiarelli and #FireClaude trends on Twitter. Quieted but didn’t silence completely.

In fact, reports have surfaced that both men are in jeopardy of losing their jobs. And for all that they’ve seen eye to eye for years, that may be breaking too. The report out now is that “management” wanted Subban starting against the Blues not Julien. So that could mean Cam, but if it was Chiarelli that could represent one of the few rifts the coach and GM have had.

At this point, personally, I want them both gone. Claude’s system doesn’t let the good players off the leash enough to provide offense. And god forbid a rookie makes a mistake; he’ll be in Claude’s doghouse worse than a Patriot with a fumbling problem.

Chiarelli screwed the pooch with the cap. As I’ve stressed repeatedly; he’s in love with his guys. So he won’t trade anyone because he thinks they’re all too important. Never mind the fact that the team is four years older than the last time they won a Cup. They’re his guys and he doesn’t want to break up the band. Sure Shawn Thornton and the like can be replaced but god forbid a top six guy get moved.

They need to bite the bullet and blow it all up. They may not be able to at the trade deadline, but they certainly can this summer with new management and coaching in place.

Here’s hoping that Jacobs and Neely have the balls to pull it off.

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Cam’s Pissed

The team blew a 3-0 lead on Monday night. Something we’re used to seeing around here (think the Philly series where they were up both 3-0 in the series and in Game 7 before blowing it). But finally instead of the fluff pieces coming out on how they know they need to play better etc. Cam Neely has come out and spoken the truth and he’s pissed.

From Boston.com:

“For me, you go through all stages of emotions, right?’’ said Neely, speaking on the phone from Edmonton, where the Bruins will face the Oilers Wednesday night in the thick of a fast-failing five-game road trip. “You go through this whole range of feelings when things aren’t going well. I’ve been frustrated. I’ve had some anger tossed in there. And now, for the first time, I’ve landed on disappointed.’’

“So what this is about for me is the remainder of the season and then moving forward past the season,’’ said Neely, when asked the standard array of possible moves, be it on the playing roster, coaching staff, or among front office personnel. “I have to look short-term and long-term. Whatever we look at has to make sense for both. I don’t think we’re interested in sacrificing the future for the immediate.’’

“I’ve been frustrated at times in the past,’’ he acknowledged, “but for the most part our team’s compete and effort level has always been there. So, yeah, I’ve not been to the ‘disappointed’ stage before.

“Given the expectation of the team, the expectation of what we have of individual players . . . we aren’t where we should be. The fans here deserved more than what they’ve received.’’

So, it doesn’t get specific on what the team is going to do. They’re not going to sacrifice the future for the now, but are they going to do anything?

I’ve been championing the Fire Chiarelli call to arms for several months now. His inability to make any moves over the last several months has really cemented my position. Like Theo Epstein, he’s too in love with his own guys. He won’t break up the team at all because he’s too in love with “his guys” or he’s paid “his guys” too much money and they have immovable contracts.

Joe Haggerty posted the other day the possibility of trading Chara. I say they pull the trigger on that move and start blowing up the team. You’d be able to bring back good value and possibly get a top four defenseman and a wing in exchange for him.

If they’re not willing to trade Chara then I say trade Tuukka. Either him or Chara will free up some serious cap space. And I would trade Lucic as well. If they demand is so high for his services everywhere else in the league, trade him. Preferably out west so when he loses his cement hands and is notching 40 goals a year, we don’t have to see him.

Like the failing Red Sox from the last few years and the post-title big three Celtics this team needs to be blown up. Start from scratch. You have a decent core with depth down the middle but outside that, you need to admit failure and hit the reset button. Enough is enough.

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February 18, 2015 · 7:01 AM