After watching two weeks of world class hockey, one could almost forget about what Bruins 2009-10 hockey entails.
It isn’t speed, crashing the net and responsible defense, but instead, it’s slumping defenseman, slow forwards who forever grip their sticks too tight, and no mental toughness whatsoever. The only common thread between the Bruins and our darling USA team is a strong, lanky goaltender that has relegated Tim Thomas to the bench.
The Bruins first period against the Montreal Canadiens was good enough. Was it sloppy? Yes, but that can be expected after two weeks off. Still, the Bruins survived pressure from Montreal and applied their own, scored a power play goal, and look poised to attack.
The second period, unfortunately, was a period of missed chances. The Bruins played a strong period, but, per usual, couldn’t finish. Blake Wheeler missed a golden opportunity, then created one of his own with his slickest move of the season, and Michael Ryder missed that opportunity. The Krejci-Wheeler-Ryder line alone should’ve made the score 3-0.
The Bruins left the second period up 1-0, and then completely imploded in the third period. Habs forwards attacked the net un-interrupted making life miserable for Tuukka Rask, and scoring three goals. Add one empty-netter to the scoreboard, and it was one of the more disappointing games of the season.
For one, Miro Satan should be sent back to his home in Long Island. He can’t be traded, but he shows no tenacity and/or desire. Veterans like that are a hindrance to the success of a team.
Next up, and this is a tough one, Mark Recchi is an issue. Many writers will hate this as Recchi is a good guy and a leader, but, he also happens to be an even strength detriment. He has no speed, so anything he tries to do he can’t accomplish. You can’t question his effort, but, at his age, you can question his ability. With him, Satan and Michael Ryder holding down the fort at right wing, one can understand why the forward lines have no “oomph.”
Another issue right now is the play of Milan Lucic. He is supposed to be an emotional leader on the ice, but, in terms of his impact, what used to be roar has been a squeak all season. The problems of Lucic personify the Bruins issues as a hole this season: The emotion isn’t there, the finish isn’t there, the tenacity isn’t there, and thus, the results aren’t there. A step or two forward leads to a step back.
In essence, with the deadline looming (today at 3:00 pm) Chiarelli needs to work to begin trimming the fat, salary wise and skill wise on this team.
Here is a quick fix plan:
- Mark Recchi relegated to a fourth line role and second PP unit.
- Bruins acquire one of Andrew Cogliano or Ray Whitney to provide speed.
- Bruins acquire one of Dennis Seidenberg, John-Michael Liles or Tomas Kaberle to solidify defensive corps.
- Bruins send Satan back to the Islanders practice rink.
- Bruins call up Brad Marchand…Tearing it up in Providence, rave reviews from Rob Murray, and he adds speed and tenacity to the team. Put him with Marco Sturm and Patrice Bergeron.