The Boston Bruins, right now, sit at 19-15-6 (only lost 19 games all last year). That puts them in the 3rd wild card spot for the Eastern Conference. Only two wild card teams make the playoffs, so they’re on the outside looking in.
This is something that the current Bruins organization are not used to, making the post season the last 7 years.
Clearly the team has changed a lot in those 7 years. It’s even changed a pretty good amount since winning the cup in 2011 and from the cup appearance in 2013, losing key players in those two runs in Horton, Seguin and Ference.
But the core is still the same, Lucic, Chara, Marchand, Bergeron, Krejci, Campbell, Paille and of course Rask.
So if the core is the same, what’s the problem?
With a lot of younger guys in the locker room, 7 under 25 years-old, to me I think there’s a lack of leadership.
I hear a lot about how “If this team had Shawn Thornton we would be back up at the top of East”.
Now I have a lot of trouble believing that a 37 year-old, fourth line, fighter would help this team get to where it really should be. But I remember when Bergeron went down after the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in 2011 and wouldn’t be able to go for the first couple of games in the Conference Finals, Thornton took Seguin (who was to fill in for Bergeron) under his wing and told him to just do what he knew he could do. That was score, and score he did.
Tyler Seguin broke out and scored 3 goals in the first two games of the series and turned the whole playoffs around for that team that eventually went on to win the whole thing.
Also a lot of people don’t realize that Thornton was trying to get Seguin to play to his ability so he would start playing every night in those playoffs, in turn that gave Thornton the healthy scratch instead of Seguin. Team player.
Now I’m not saying we need to go sign or trade for Shawn Thornton, that’s not what we need at all. I’m saying that someone in the locker room needs to step up and be that Shawn Thornton kind of guy.
Marchand and Krug got into it at practice yesterday and had to be broken up by a few other players. It turned out to be mostly a friendly scrap, but I hope that wasn’t the case. I hope, and think, that it was from actual frustration boiling over from how badly the team has been performing. And if that’s the case then I hope there’s a few more scraps in practice that will translate over into games. Shows that those guys aren’t happy with the product their putting on the ice.
This Bruins team is young, but they are very talented. They need to stop using young as an excuse and start using it to fuel the rest of the squad.
In 2011 only two guys on that team had won a cup. Everyone wanted it.
These young guys need to start wanting it, then we’ll be back to the top.