Friday, January 22, 2010
Oh Boston Bruins, why do you insist on breaking my heart?
At this point in the season I am no longer buying the injuries excuse. The Bruins won their game against San Jose despite missing some important players. Their losses are only in small part because of their injuries. The B’s have just gotten complacent. They can say they’re angry, they can say they’re frustrated and they can say these losses are motivating them, as Shawn Thornton DID on the Toucher & Rich radio show Thursday morning, but I’m not buying it. You’ve got the grinders who the losses are really affecting, but the others who need to step up are failing to do so. Dennis Wideman is a mess, David Krecji isn’t scoring the same amount of goals that he has in the past, Ryder is barely performing up to par. As a team who has been plagued by injuries non-stop all season, everyone needs to do their best. Hell, everyone needs to be perfect. There isn’t much room for error.
Post game interviews are full of optimism and “yeah, we need to step it up” and “we really came out in the third period.” That’s great, kiddo, but you were horrible in the first two periods. The Bruins don’t seem to understand that they can talk about how it’s going to be okay all they want, but they can’t will it into actually happening. Their words and reassurances and excuses aren’t working anymore. Actions speak louder than words.
Granted, the ridiculous penalty against Milan Lucic didn’t help the Bruins last night, but that’s no excuse for them not being able to hold the Blue Jackets during the power play.
This season, the Bruins have had trouble capitalizing on their opportunities, playing with passion and fire, and injuries. They’re frazzled to easily. It doesn’t help that you can’t always rely on our goaltenders either. We’ve got two great goalies in Tim Thomas and Tukka Rask. With so many injuries, the Thomas and Rask really need to step up their game to prevent these losses by one point. Unfortunately, Tim Thomas has been hot and cold and Tukka Rask, despite his natural ability, doesn’t have the experience that Thomas has.
I don’t know how Claude Julien is going to do his job anymore. I’m glad I’m not him. On one hand, these guys are professional hockey players who should be able to motivate themselves. On the other hand, Julien needs to do something to get it through these players’ thick skulls that how they’re playing is unacceptable. If he doesn’t succeed in this, I’m worried that he won’t be in Boston much longer. In some cases, that’s for the best. I don’t think it is in this situation. Claude Julien is a solid coach, and he’s been good for the Bruins. At what point do the players get held accountable? It’s clearly not a lack of skill that’s preventing them from winning, it’s a lack of motivation. I’m questioning whether or not Julien scratching players will work though. Will it just make things worse if we’re missing essential players? Or will it make things better because they’re not trying anyway and it will give them a good kick in the ass?
There’s no easy solution with the Boston Bruins. The team as a whole has a lot of work to do. Peter Chiarelli may need to start seriously considering putting up the money for a great goal scorer. There’s no guarantee that it will solve the Bruin’s problems, but this isn’t the time to be cautious. Moves need to be made, actions need to be taken.
In the meantime, Bruins fans, try to stay sane.
Samantha Lewis is the Creative Director for Northshore Editorial and can be found on Twitter and read more from her at Beantown Athletic Supporters.