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?”
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.
Your team is playing well. You’re winning games. Even with All Star talent and/or key contributors not playing you’re still challenging for your division or conference lead.
You are the Bruins and Celtics.
The Bruins fresh off beating the Capitols and avenging one of the few losses they had all year, met the streaking Penguins. Winners of eight straight they looked to make the Bruins number nine on Sunday. After going up 1-0 the Bruins tied the game. But with seconds left in the first period the B’s gave up the go ahead goal which proved to be the game winner.
Pittsburgh’s streak moves up to nine.
Last night the Heat came in winners of 22 straight. A far better feat than the Penguins. So the Celtics, without Garnett, looked to stop the streak. Clinging to as big as a seven point lead in the fourth quarter they couldn’t close the game. The Heat stormed back and took it 105-103. Lost in the mix was Jeff Green playing unworldly and dropping a career high 43.
The Heat’s streak hits 23.
While the C’s game gives me optimism, the Bruins are still the team I think makes a deep playoff run. I’ll be watching both of course. For now, they’re both victims of the streaks.
I was going to do a team a day but figured I could wrap it in on column. So here’s how I grade each team’s 2012 performance.
Red Sox (D-)
You want to give them an F. They start the year with hiring Valentine and gushing over how great he is and how he’ll fix the team etc. I’ve chronicled enough this season of them just being a giant bag of suck. The get out of the F though since they fired Valentine. They also traded Beckett, Crawford, Gonzalez, and Punto (the ultimate throw in) but did nothing with the money saved. They didn’t sign any huge names or contracts this offseason (maybe they learned their lesson) but named a manager pretty quickly working out a deal for Farrell.
2013 doesn’t look much better. If they pitch, they’ll be decent, but I’m not holding my breath.
You have to think back to when they were still playing since they’re now on day 106 or something of their lockout. But a low grade since they followed up their Stanley Cup with a first round bow out in the playoffs. Then there was the Tim Thomas chaos where he was going to be in a bunker in Colorado preparing for the apocalypse.
2013 could be decent. The core of the team is young and could make another run…if they play hockey this spring.
They get props for making it to the Eastern Conference Finals. They followed it up with losing Ray Allen in the offseason. Then signed Jeff Green to a contract no one in the NBA thought he was worth except Danny Ainge. They built such a strong team on paper that when I was in Vegas they wouldn’t take money on the C’s. They’ve started this season looking old and playing without heart. I heard a text that asked, “When Jeff Green had heart surgery did they take it out?”; he stinks. The team ends 2012 under .500.
2013 doesn’t look much better. Perhaps a trade or two could make it change for the positive, but I don’t see it coming. The outlook is bleak.
I flip flopped with an A- or B+. They lost the Super Bowl but it was close. They could have won. But the followed that up by trading up in the draft and snagging contributors. They reupped Gronk and Hernandez. They brought in some guys this offseason that didn’t work out. They traded for Talib mid season to immediately improve their secondary and even with losses to Arizona, Seattle, San Fran, and Baltimore they have a bye in the playoffs.
With that bye, 2013 could be good. I’m obviously hoping for a fourth Super Bowl title but understand it’s not a guarantee.
Overall highs and lows in 2012 for Boston sports, I expect more of the same in 2013.
Like Wednesday I’m going random.
Starting with UConn for screwing up my brackets. I don’t pick you, you win a God damned national title, I pick you (not all the way mind you) and you’re ousted in the first round.
Second Eff You goes to Danny Ainge. Criticize Red for not breaking up the Big Three in the early 90’s which sent the Celtics into a tailspin of mediocrity for more than a decade, now you turn around and do the same thing? By not doing anything yesterday Danny ensured the mediocrity of this franchise for at least the next 10 years.
Eff you too.
A third eff you to the Bruins who are in an absolute tailspin as the season is winding to a close. If it weren’t for the division lead they’d be barely holding the 5th seed. I get injuries but the team defense has gone out the window. Huge bag of suck. Seeing them swept in the first round, wouldn’t shock me in the least.
Eff them too.
Finally the Patriots are effed. Don’t think Mario Williams in Buffalo has no bearing on the Pats. Turnstile Light can’t stop any of the top rushers in the league and Williams is the top. So now Buffalo who was already giving you fits, will give you more. Great.
So eff you Bills, you effed the Pats.
I know it’s Friday and I should be happier but eff it dude, let’s go bowling.
“Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing”
– Vince Lomardi
So The Guy checked in with a comment that I’m sure no one read, so let me bring it to the forefront:
“the Bruins’ season ticket base has fallen to approximately 4,000 (in a building that holds 17,565 for hockey), a number so low that under NHL expansion standards, it would disqualify the city from being awarded a franchise, were it trying to start a team today”
Now I have friends that read the blog that used to be season ticket holders but once the team requested a playoff deposit when the team was holding strong as the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference, they gave them up. Watching the game last night you couldn’t help but understand why.
Following the 96-97 season the Bruins drafted Joe Thorton and Sergei Samsonov. Then the genuises in the front office traded both of them away. Now, Samsonov annoyed pretty much every fan when he’d skate into the corner and do his little spin move, get hit and give up the puck. As Larry has stated many times, “it’s hockey not figure skating.” So when Samsonov was traded, no one cried. The Thorton trade on the other hand was the stupidest trade um, ever.
So most of the telecast they kept showing Samsonov lining up with the Hurricanes. I thought you had to be at least 38 to play for the ‘Caines? A team that puts Glen Wesley, yes the same Glen Wesley and Rod Brind’Amour two of the oldest players in hockey on the ice you’re just waiting for Reg Dunlop and Gordie Howe to join them.
Anyways, the Bruins lost again (I know you’re shocked that Boston still has a hockey team) and are back to their mediocrity, holding strong with the #7 seed in the East. Bottom line with this franchise is that regardless of uniform changes, coaching changes (pretty much every year) until Jacobs sells this team, we destined for suckiness.
After a brief hiatus I’m back to the action. Following the signing of Mike Lowell, there wasn’t too much on the hometown front. I attended Causeway Day on Friday. For those of you not familiar with Causeway Day I’ll supply a quick synopsis. The Bruins and Celtics both play home games every year the day after Thanksgiving (barring strikes and lockouts). Rule #1 is that it’s a marathon not a sprint. Beyond rule #1, there are other rules including no girls, if you mess up (like get arrested) you’re on your own and you must be sponsored by a veteran.
The Bruins handled the Islanders in the matinee and the Celtics whooped up on the Lakers in the evening. For the first time in my 8 year Causeway Day participation, I witnessed a Boston sweep. Amazing. The two teams took the show on the road Saturday night with the Celtics squeaking one out on a last minute Ray Allen three pointer while the Bruins blew a 1-0 lead losing to the Islanders on the back end of the home and home 2-1.
Now other business that surfaced over the long weekend. The 49ers finally won a game improving to 3-8 while preserving the Pats draft pick in the top 10.
Rumors from Yawkey way are saying the Sox are going after Johan Santana, hard. If history proved anything the Sox like to have this stuff wrapped up before December 1st having aquired Beckett before Thanksgiving and of course Mr. 38 PotatoPancakes on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It’s rumored that the Twins are enamored with Coco which would fill the void left by Torri Hunter who sign with the Angels for 5 years $90 Million. Obviously you’re not going to get Santana for Coco but is Buchholz and Lester too much? I say no. They’re printing money at the Fens and since it’s not my money, if you’re able to work an extension (6 years $120 Million) for Santana I say you do it. It keeps him out of Spankee land and jacks up your already awesome rotation.
Off to watch the 21 point favorite Pats beat up on the Eagles. Going for 11-0 an trying to stay undefeated. Should be in bed as early as 9:15PM.