Tag Archives: Boston Bruins

Crown “Julien”

Claude Julien has done a fabulous job in taking a misguided Boston Bruins team and molding them into perennial Stanley Cup contenders. Since coming on board in the summer of 2007, he was tasked with not only returning to the playoffs, but propelling Boston to a championship.

In the summer of 2011, he did just that after repeated disappointments in the early rounds of the playoffs. Widely speculated was the notion that the only reason he was allowed to keep his job was simply because he brought a title to the organization.

But that was many years ago.

With Jimmy Vesey selecting the New York Rangers despite growing up around the city of Boston and playing his college hockey at Harvard, was a subtle slap in the face for Bruins fans.

Was it because he saw New York as his best chance to make an instant impact during his two year deal? Or was Boston never truly a part of the conversation?

Immediately when considering Boston, a few red flags shoot up. Dougie Hamilton, Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin have all failed at adopting Boston as their ‘home away from home’ despite their draft status. Furthermore, players like Jimmy Hayes and Chris Bourque have had difficulty dealing with the spotlight on them considering their roots to the city.

Coincidence? Perhaps, but that solution is far too boring to accept.

So, I’ll blame the coach.

On the outside looking in fans across the spectrum of the NHL would kill for a coach like Claude. As far as the stat books go, he is one of the best coaches of this generation. Coaching in big cities with big expectations. After all, you must be somewhat talented at what you do to represent team Canada in two Olympics in a row. However, had it not been for the summer of 2011, he would have primarily failed when it came to the clutch. Canada is practically a shoe in to win a gold medal, so I’m looking at the NHL strictly.

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While the wound of the Tyler Seguin trade was hidden primarily behind the production of Jarome Iginla in 2013-14, the salt shaker has been uncapped and dumped all over it in the years that followed.

Starring down the barrel of the 2016-17 season, many questions remain unanswered. While Vesey’s ability to become a go to guy in the NHL is still a mystery, it’s hard to view this as anything but another jab in the ribs to Bruins fans. A lot of destruction has gone on within the organization in a short period of time and now the damage is beginning to show.

Claude has not necessarily hidden the fact that he has a short fuse when it comes to younger players getting prime time minutes. Phil Kessel was at extreme odds with Claude Julien which was the direct reasoning to why he was traded.

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Tyler Seguin was born to be a star in Boston, but during their 2013 Stanley Cup run, he was separated from his trust circle. Truth be told the divide between management and Julien began the day after the Seguin trade. Cam Neely was on the fence about the deal, but the coach wanted him gone. You know who won.

Dougie Hamilton was viewed as Chara’s replacement once he retires in the next season in a half. He obviously requested a trade. Signing with a Calgary team littered with younger talent and a weaker opportunity to win a Cup.

Seems kind of strange that these kids wouldn’t want to play in a city that embraces its hockey team as one of the best in the region, doesn’t it?

Entering Don Sweeney’s second term as GM in Boston, that tension between the coach and Neely remains, making for an excellent tug of war between bench boss and VP of player personnel.

Jimmy Vesey picked New York because he didn’t want to play for the Boston Bruins. Not because the fans are too hard on local boys, not because they’re going through a “rebuild”, but believe it or not people, it’s because of the coach.

Until Claude can show the public that he is a coach willing to help work younger players through the difficult learning curve, you will continue to see free agent blunders such as this.

Forget what you heard about Jimmy Hayes slandering Boston. Your coach is your biggest enemy. Now that is a tough pill to swallow.

Don’t fret Boston, you got Dominic Moore.

Follow FI on Twitter @FIsports and on Facebook.

-Joey Russo (@JoeyRusso12)

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Atlantic Division All-Time Greatest Rosters

I know hockey may not be America’s favorite sport, but if all the ignorant hockey naysayers would give it a chance, I am confident that hockey would eventually rule not only America, but the entire world. With that said, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a season played with all 30 NHL franchises having their best all-time teams take the ice?

If you could cross eras, having Sidney Crosby go top cheese on Patrick Roy or Wayne Gretzky receiving passes from Connor McDavid, that would be AMAZING! So why don’t we digest this a little bit more and turn this fantasy into a reality, and see the 12 forwards, 6 defensemen, and the 1 goalie that would dress for all 30 NHL franchises in the greatest of all-time season. Let us start with the Atlantic Division.

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1.  Montreal Canadiens:

Forwards:

Henri Richard-Jean Beliveau-Guy LaFleur

Stephen Shutt-Jacques Lemaire-Yvan Cournoyer

Mats Naslund-Saku Koivu-Mario Tremblay

Tomas Plekanec-Elmer Lach-Bernie Geoffrion

Defense:

Guy LaPointe-Andrei Markov

Larry Robinson-Doug Harvey

PK Subban-Serge Savard

Goalie:

Patrick Roy

The Montreal Canadiens are without a doubt the greatest and most storied franchise in NHL history, so cracking their all-time roster would be an incredible honor for sure, eh? Forwards were pretty cut and paste, these guys are the all-time leaders for the Habs on offense, and a team with 24 Stanley Cups don’t need to change much. Defense was again pretty easy, but I couldn’t not put PK Subban on this roster. He may have just be kicked to the curb (us Predator fans thank you greatly) for Shea Weber, but the impact PK had for the Habs was incredible. He was shut down on the blue line and had a slap shot of a God. Bruins fans are beyond excited to see him leave. The hardest choice of all 30 franchises was definitely the Montreal goaltender. Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden, Carey Price, Jose Theodore and Georges Vezina were all wonderful tendies, but how can you not pick Patrick Roy? He was one of the best goalies of all-time, and just watch out, we may be seeing Roy on another team’s all-time roster later on.

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2. Boston Bruins:

Forwards:

John Bucyk-Patrice Bergeron-Cam Neely

Ken Hodge-Phil Esposito-Rick Middleton

Wayne Cashman-Milt Schmidt-Terry O’Reilly

Brad Marchand-Peter McNab-Dit Clapper

Defense:

Ray Bourque-Bobby Orr

Brad Park-Zdeno Chara

Eddie Shore-Don Sweeney

Goalie:

Tim Thomas

Numbers never lie folks, so that is why you may not recognize a handful of these names. There are a few factors to consider when picking the all-time greatest team, factors being the era in which they played and how the game has evolved. Would Dit Clapper have 228 goals in today’s game? Absolutely not, but he is an all-time Boston Bruins great for what he did in his era. New meets old on this roster, as I have Patrice Bergeron centering the first line of the all-time Bruins team. This is a testament to Bergy’s incredible way to control the game, his impeccable defensive effort, and his consistency in the faceoff circle. Defensively, this team is a juggernaut. Ray and Bobby as the first unit, they might score more than any forward line combined. My head hurts just thinking about the damage that duo could do. Goalie was a tough one for me, but a no brainer at the same time. Timmy T is only fourth on the Bruins all-time wins list, but he did not even play 400 games for the Bruins, like the top 3 all did. He had a 2.48 goals against average and of course, single handily won the Bruins the Stanley Cup in 2011. Thomas’ athleticism and competitiveness made it an easy choice for him the represent my Bruins as the goalie on their all-time roster. Look for the Bruins to finish in the top 2 of the Atlantic Division in an all-time greatest season.

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3. Detroit Red Wings:

Forwards:

Henrik Zetterberg-Steve Yzerman-Gordie Howe

Alex Delvecchio-Sergei Federov-Brendan Shanahan

Ted Lindsay-Pavel Datsyuk-Norm Ullman

Gerard Gallant-Igor Larionov-Johan Franzen

Defense:

Nicklas Lidstrom-Reed Larson

Red Kelly-Niklas Kronwall

Chris Chelios-Gary Bergman

Goalie:

Chris Osgood

WOW. What a team this is. They will be competing with Boston and Montreal for first place in the Atlantic Division with this team. Goals with be scored left and right, I can see this team averaging 4-5 goals a game with this forward unit. The ceneter core of this team features Yzerman, Federov, Datysuk, and Larionov…dear God that’s astounding. Defense is a force to be reckoned with as well, Lidstrom, Larson, Kronwall make up an extravagant defensive core. Goalie was a slam dunk for me with Chris Osgood, and he was very good. He had the funny helmet and all, and he was a great net minder for the Wings. I like the Wings to compete with the best of the best in an all-time league and to make it into the playoffs out of the Atlantic.

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4. Toronto Maple Leafs:

Forwards:

Francis Mahovlich-Mats Sundin-Darryl Sittler

Doug Gilmour-Dave Keon-Ronald Ellis

George Armstrong-Ted Kennedy-Phil Kessel

Bob Pulford-Auston Matthews-Lanny McDonald

Defense:

Borje Salming-Tim Horton

Tomas Kaberle-Ian Turnbull

Bryan McCabe-Red Kelly

Goalie:

Felix Potvin

This all-time roster will not be winning the Stanley Cup for the city of Toronto, but that’s expected when it comes to the Maple Leafs. The Leafs haven’t won a cup since 1967, that’s pretty embarrassing to say the least. There are some great players on this team, Mats Sundin and Doug Gilmour are two of the better players the NHL has ever seen, but no cups for either of you with the Maple Leafs. Phil Kessel gets to leave, and he wins a cup immediately in Pittsburgh, what a shocker there. The biggest surprise on this roster has to be Auston Matthews because the kid hasn’t even played an NHL game yet and he made their all-time roster. Why? Because he has so much potential, the Maple Leafs would be insane to not try him out for this team if this were reality. Goalie was tough, but Felix Potvin was my choice because I have seen him play, and he is a trustworthy option between the pipes. The Maple Leafs all-time team isn’t winning Lord Stanley anytime soon, but look for them to compete for a playoff spot.

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5. Buffalo Sabres:

Forwards:

Richard Martin-Gilbert Perreault-Miroslav Satan

Dave Andreychuk-Don Luce-Rene Robert

Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Craig Ramsey

Dale Hawerchuk-Pat LaFontaine-Alexander Mogilny

Defense:

Phil Housley-Alexei Zhitnik

Doug Bodger-Gerald Korab

Michael Ramsey-James Schoenfeld

Goalie:

Dominik Hasek

Buffalo is a franchise still searching for its first Stanley Cup but this team has potential to compete for a playoff spot in an all-time greatest season. The first player off this roster is Jack Eichel, I wanted to put him on this team so badly, but just couldn’t replace Pat LaFontaine with him just yet. I love the offense for the Sabres all-time team, but the defense is the grey area for me. Phil Housley is the best defender the Sabres have ever had, so he would be relied on heavily to hold down the blue line. There was a two goalie battle for the starting job for this team, Dominik Hasek and Ryan Miller were the two options, but come on, it is Dom’s net every time. And as a man named Kelley once told me “You better watch out for them Sabres, they are like sneaky average a lot.”

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6. Tampa Bay Lightning:

Forward:

Vincent Lecavalier-Steven Stamkos-Martin St. Louis

Vinny Prospal-Tyler Johnson-Brad Richards

Freddy Modin-Chris Gratton-Nikita Kucherov

Ruslan Fedotenko-Alex Killorn-Dave Andreychuk

Defense:

Dan Boyle-Pavel Kubina

Victor Hedman-Roman Hamrlik

Anton Stralman-Paul Ranger

Goalie:

Ben Bishop

Another young team here in Tampa Bay, but loads of talent up front. This first line is great but I don’t know how the other three lines will stack up with the other teams with more history in this division. The defense is week for the fire power that some of these teams have but I can see them surprising a few people with their offensive group. Goalie was a close one as Ben Bishop and Nikolai Khabibulin are both phenomenal goaltenders, but Bishop gets the nod cause of his size, he’s a giant standing at 6’7”. Some of these guys like Bobby Orr and Jean Beliveau have never seen a goalie of this size so that may make it difficult for them to find the twine. This team goes as Bishop goes, if he can fluster the all-time greatest scorers then there is a chance, and I mean slight chance that this team backs its way into the postseason.

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7. Ottawa Senators:

Forwards:

Dany Heatley-Jason Spezza-Daniel Alfredsson

Radek Bonk-Alexi Yashin-Chris Neil

Milan Michalek-Mike Fisher-Marian Hossa

Nick Foligno-Kyle Turris-Martin Havlat

Defense:

Wade Redden-Erik Karlsson

Chris Phillips-Zdeno Chara

Filip Kuba-Jason York

Goalie:

Patrick Lalime

Ottawa joined the NHL in 1992 through expansion, so they have no chance of winning the big one in an all-time greatest league. But nonetheless, could you imagine this roster in its prime? Some great stuff from that first line for sure. We see Zdeno Chara making his second appearance on this list, and I think a few more of these guys will be revisited later as well. Patrick Lalime is my choice at goalie because he is the franchise leader in games played, wins, etc. Ray Emery was so close to getting the nod for me because of his cup run he took Ottawa on back in 2007. Speaking of 2007, Dany Heatley. “50 in ‘07” is now a lifestyle for hockey players, and that’s an incredible impact to leave on such a beautiful game. This Ottawa all-time team might be my favorite to watch of any team in this division, but that does not mean they will be winning a lot, just too young of a franchise to have a chance against the Bruins, Canadiens, and Red Wings.

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8. Florida Panthers:

Forwards:

Nathan Horton-Olli Jokinen-Scott Mellanby

Pavel Bure-Stephen Weiss-Radek Dvorak

Jonathan Huberdeau-Viktor Kozlov-Ray Whitney

David Booth-Rob Niedermayer-Bill Lindsay

Defense:

 Jay Bouwmeester-Ed Jovanovski

Robert Svehla-Brian Campbell

Aaron Ekblad-Dmitry Kulikov

Goalie:

Roberto Luongo

This is a rough all-time roster to say the least. Some of these guys should never appear on a list like this, but when on the Panthers anything is possible. All these picks were obvious because of the lack of time and winning that has gone on in Florida. Maybe as time moves forward Aaron Ekblad will become a household NHL name and he will skyrocket to the first defensive unit, but for now line three is where he is at. Roberto Luongo is a great guy to have in net for your franchise but he definitely is not the best goalie of all-time. Olli Jokinen wins best name in NHL history, but this team will finish at the bottom of the barrel in the Atlantic Division.

Filling The Gaps

It’s undeniable that the signing of David Backes is probably the biggest splash the Boston Bruins are going to make this offseason. However, it can still be debated on how his services will be used once the season commences in October.

For recapping purposes, Backes was a dominant force down the middle of the ice for the St. Louis Blues for a decade. Culminating in a trip to the Western Conference Final for the first time in his career this past season. With that in mind, Backes isn’t a one trick pony.

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Known to play the right wing position as well, it gives head coach Claude Julien some flexibility when it comes to pinning guys to their corresponding lines.

For those unfamiliar with who is present in the header photo, its David Backes slamming into David Krejci at the Sochi Olympics, foreshadowing that we’ll get to later.

Recently, Chris Kelly signed a one year deal to return to the team that drafted him, the Ottawa Senators. Unfortunately for Boston, they lost yet another member of their historical run to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. While Kelly’s play had come with plenty of scrutiny in recent years, his leadership on and off the ice helped keep the younger players in line. In case you were unaware, they could have used some of that in the dying weeks of the 2015-16 campaign.

Aside from brute force and offensive creativity, Backes comes with the hopes that he can imitate the locker room presence Kelly orchestrated.

With Landon Ferraro and Kelly both switching organizations, it only makes the mystery of who will be playing where and with who even more intriguing.

Perhaps Julien’s hand has been forced and the Bruins will be one of the deepest teams in the league down the middle. Bergeron, Krejci, Backes and Spooner are all capable of playing worthwhile minutes against fierce competition.

As history has shown, the center position remains the least of Boston’s concerns.

Similarly to the latest installment of the Pro Bowl, the Bruins blue line stinks. Rumors spread like wild fire that both Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler drew considerable interest from Don Sweeney during the draft, but no deal was made. Reports out of Canada say that talks haven’t ceased but they also haven’t gained much ground either.

Yeah, whatever that means.

Believe it or not, David Krejci has been dangled as bait in an attempt to lure in a general manager for a player for player deal regarding a talented defensemen. The news has the entire fan base split down the middle.

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Krejci is absolutely a playoff player.

All he does is put up crazy numbers once the regular season concludes. But that’s insignificant for a team that has struggled to get there in consecutive seasons. That’s also not to say that Krejci isn’t a high 40 to low 50 point per season player, because he absolutely is. His dilemma stems from the fact that in the two seasons Boston has failed to qualify for the postseason, his participation has been significantly limited due to injuries.

In his absence, Julien was forced to play Ryan Spooner, Landon Ferraro and Noel Accari against 3rd and occasionally 2nd line talent. Now you understand why Boston has seen a dip in offensive production.

Universally, the knock on Krejci is that he is either an 82 game player or a 40 game player. Simply, he either plays in every game or is mauled by brutal injuries all season long that require him to sit nearly half of the regular season.

Backes is an ‘iron man’ of sorts who rarely misses a single game in an entire season. That’s the kind of consistency that Boston’s brass is looking for. When the signing of Backes was announced, immediately the speculation was that Krejci’s days were numbered. Honestly, you’re probably not wrong in thinking that. Regardless of how you feel about the potential departure of Krejci, you would be wrong to think that a trade is on the horizon.

By no means are massive trades late in July a oddity. In fact, they sometimes bleed well into August. But it’s fair to say that if it hasn’t happened yet, it most likely won’t happen at all, or will wait until the deadline.

My final takeaway is this.

Don’t you find it a bit odd that Boston would sign a 32 year old center who never misses a game to that kind of money over that period of time while the plan wasn’t to trade one of your centers for a puck moving defensemen? Between Bergeron, Spooner and Krejci who obviously represented the core of centers prior to Backes’ arrival, Krejci is the odd man out.

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Bergeron is your future captain and face of the franchise, Spooner is a young gun who shined in his role as the 3rd and 4th line center putting up impressive numbers. Boston is over and done with trading young talent after seeing so little of what they can and can’t do. Ruling out Bergeron and Spooner.

So we’ve come full circle here. If the rumors are true, and only God knows that truth, then Krejci has been tossed into shark infested waters recently.

Time as I’ve said over and over, will tell.

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Trending Downward

Consistency is paramount in the sports world. That is, unless you’re consistently missing the playoffs with three or less games remaining in the season. For the Boston Bruins, that has been their cruel reality in last two seasons.

365 days ago Ottawa swooped in late and crushed the fragile line of hope that Boston clutched on to for dear life. Similarly, this season Ottawa entreated a typically hostile TD Garden and made a mockery of Boston’s last second hopes for a playoff spot.

Andrew Hammond was once again, spectacular, aside from a minor hiccup on an arguably off sides play which resulted in Boston’s one and only goal. For the most part, the Bruins were exposed. They showed their true colors after battling hard against a motivated Red Wings team just a few nights earlier. Appearing lethargic and nervous while attempting to maintain their brief lead.

It was a true lack of beauty which killed the beast. Boston went absolutely ice cold when it came time to ante up. To be honest, they weren’t a tough team to figure out. Aside from the Bergeron line this team typically doesn’t score. Speaking of which Bergeron, Marchand, and Eriksson all scored 30 or more goals this season. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you think that type of production will miss the playoffs. Coupled with their inexperienced defensive core who are prone to hideous turnovers and you have a mentally unstable hockey club.

While the loss in it of itself is as close to inexcusable as it comes. What’s most peculiar was the goaltending situation. Tuukka Rask took a very brief warm up in which he looked hazy and lost. It wasn’t until puck drop that we realized he was dealing with an illness. So, playing with the cards he was dealt, head coach Claude Julien started backup, Jonas Gustavsson.

In turn he did all he could.

17,565 fans looked on with pure disgust as Ottawa tagged on goal after goal with ease. Boston’s moral was just as low as the Gardens attendance with just under 10 minutes left in regulation. When the dust settled Boston had the proverbial fork driven through them.

6-1 your final score.

By dinner time on the East coast Boston was mathematically eliminated by virtue of a Flyers regulation victory.

Now comes the fun part. The blame game. Make no mistake, it wasn’t the Senators, Flyers, Red Wings, or even Claude Julien’s fault. It was the players.

Claude will undoubtedly take the most abuse for how this season played out. But it’s hard to win a horse race with a team of ponies. I’ve given Julien plenty of grief in the past, but what he was able to accomplish with this defensive staff is truly impressive. This was not Julien’s team. Last years squad was. But for the most part, he made this season work.

Ultimately, what we had here is a failure to communicate. Between both the management and the coach. To quote yet another movie, this is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immoveable object.

You have the coach to win with, I suggest you take considerable time to figure out who you are as an organization. Free agency is going to be a huge stepping stone for Boston. Chris Kelly’s 4 million dollar cap hit is officially off the books and rumblings of a Chara trade are persistent. Boston could enter the July 4th melee with a plethora of cash.

Not to mention they have some good draft picks they could potentially move to make something work.

Regardless, this off season should be approached with tempered expectations. If you’re a life long Bruins fan, you will understand.

It’s hard to ignore the obvious gap between Sweeney and Julien. Its a tug of war match that Julien is deemed to lose.

The market for a playoff caliber coach is quite high.

Everyone wants one and those who don’t are desperately searching for one.

So, unless a verbal agreement has been reached with Toronto regarding Mike Babcock, which is a pipe dream, handing Julien a pink slip is the wrong move. Give yourself another half season to internally decompress, clearly they need it.

Quite obviously they are a marathon away from being a contender, and just as I predicted, they’re good, but nowhere near good enough.

Just yet.

Happy playoffs.

Bottoming Out

Since the NHL trade deadlines conclusion, February 29th, a day in which teams beef up for the tough road to the playoffs. The Boston Bruins have been reminiscent of their play in September as a pose to their play in December.

Coming off a dismal West coast road trip which saw them go 0-3-0 facing off against some of the NHLs top teams. Boston had a golden opportunity to show the national media that their most recent road trip was a minor hiccup.

Needless to say they failed.

In a national televised Wednesday night game on NBCSN, the New York Rangers flat out dominated Boston. Eventually prevailing 5-2 at Madison Square Garden.

Having gone 0 and 4 against perpetual Stanley Cup contenders in that stretch, the scope of this team is clear. They’re a long ways away from relevancy.

For the first time in a long time Boston’s hockey club is in danger of missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons. While the play offensively has been suspect of late, on most nights they have no issue piling on a fair amount of shots. That being said, it’s not about the number of shots on net, but the number that ends up past the opposing goaltender.

Which has been their bugaboo all season long.

Realistically speaking, outside of the Marchand, Bergeron, and Stempniak line this Bruins team physically cannot score goals.

Both Krejci and Spooner appear ghost like in their offensive contributions which is a mammoth issue. Simply you cannot get this lack of contribution from your centers and expect to make the playoffs. Typically playoff caliber teams roll four lines with battle tested centers all the way down. I don’t need to remind you that Boston just isn’t that right now.

Pastrnak and Eriksson have completely lost their scoring touch while Kevin Miller and John Liles continue their attempts to piece together lackluster defense.

In regards to the goaltending, Tuukka Rask was relieved by Jonas Gustavsson. Rask by the way, missed considerable time leading up to last night due to an “illness” and was still warranted a start.

Bold strategy.

With 8 games remaining on the season, the odds don’t initially appear to be tipping in their favor.

However if you’re a fan you should want this team to make the playoffs for a multitude of reasons.

First and foremost, after missing the playoffs for the first time in 8 seasons last year. Management cleared house trading away both Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton largely for future considerations. Leaving gigantic holes in their depth chart with no immediate replacements under contract.

Who is to say that yet another failure wouldn’t warrant a similar mindset to be instituted this summer?

Secondly the core is here now. Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, and most recently Frank Vatrano.

“Frank the Tank” as he’s constantly referenced as, is a former resident of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and a former Umass Minuteman has been lighting up the AHL. Not to mention he has a relatively impressive offensive showing in the NHL while he was a part of the lineup earlier this season.

Similar to Michael Ryder, Vatrano has a bullet for a wrist shot and an eye for the net. Nearly a goal per game player for Providence, he recently was added to the lineup last night in New York. A game in which, he unsurprisingly scored.

It’s not rocket science, play the kids, Claude.

After all, Boston’s proof is in the future.

Through draft picks and a strong farm system.

Brandon Carlo who was a second round pick for Boston last season is a 6 foot 5 inch 203 pound defensemen. Today he joined Providence after finishing up his season in the WHL. 5 goals and 22 assists through 63 games is nothing to shrug off, and the ceiling is quite high.

Finally, the only way to entice worthwhile free agents is to make the playoffs. Nobody worth their name is going to sign with a team that has stumbled over their own feet during the most important part of the season, twice.

Currently there is 8 games remaining on the schedule. Boston sits at 3rd in their division which is the last playoff spot.

A battle with Florida tonight would be an excellent spot to end their losing streak. After the matchups with Toronto, New Jersey, St. Louis, Chicago, Carolina, Detroit and finally Ottawa to close things out.

2014-15 saw the Bruins go 0-3 in their last three games which helped Pittsburg mathematically eliminate Boston from playoff contention. Tonight, along with a game against Detroit on April 7th   could make or break the season. But when you remember what happened to Boston last season one must hope lightning doesn’t strike in the same place.

One thing is for sure, making the playoffs and losing in 5 games is a far better fate than not making the big dance at all.

Not to mention teams such as the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs have begun to showcase their young talent. The kids are alright to say the least. Even worse news? You have to battle them for a playoff spot next season.

Perhaps Boston’s brass should follow Toronto and Buffalo’s shadow this off season. After all they went through exactly what the Bruins currently are and they’re better off because of it.

Don Sweeney dared not title last off season as a prelude to a “rebuild”. But its looking more and more like that is the course of action.

Truly a pity considering the Bruins won the Presidents Trophy just two seasons ago, believe it or not.