Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bitz and Pieces

Last night the Bruins and Panthers didn't look like the same two teams that played last week. The B's were in their all black and the Panthers were in their old familiar road whites--a uniform that strikes fear into the hearts of no one. But more importantly, after a freaky role reversal last time, the two teams got back to being who they really are.

We haven't seen the Bruin team was saw last night in a very long time. They were completely dominating in all three zones, and had that crazy killer instinct where after every goal they only wanted more. How were the Bruins better than in their recent efforts? In every single possible way.

If you asked me to pick the best three Bruins or tell you which player had a poor night, I'd be at a loss because this really was a total team effort. From the goal out: spectacular and timely goaltending, hard hitting nasty defense, good quick decisions on the breakout, tape to tape passing, a jump in the offensive zone, domination on the forecheck, and "finish."

I am sure B's fans everywhere had big smiles after this one. It was like starting the season over again. After seeing them struggle we bear witness to the full rebirth of this amazing, absolutely dominating, team. It was sweet and worth the wait.

The fans who think this team needs more talent need to stop and think. I keep reading pure lunacy, like trading Axe for a rental, or giving up their young talent for one. The B's don't need more talent. Hockey is a team sport. Doesn't anybody remember the 1980 Olympics? Or at least seen the movie? Teamwork and hard work trump talent. If you add, say, an Eric Cole, you add talent, but risk screwing up the team chemistry. Chiarelli has shown a flair for making that little trade with solid positive results and I'm hoping he pulls it off again this time. Just look at his signing over the summer: people, myself included, were worried that Ryder, his struggling replacement for Muzz, would struggle for the B's too. But instead he thrived. Just like Julien said he would.

While it is tempting to think in the short term for a cup run, I think Chiarelli should instead look to the long term. Trade Fernandez while he still has some value. Trade him for some future: a draft pick or prospect. The Bruins aren't going to win a cup with Fernandez in goal. He's just not consistent enough. If Timmy goes down with an injury the only thing that would get them there would be an amazing rookie run by Rask. On the other hand, we need Timmy rested. I'm worried he's going to burn out again. I'd bring Rask up and let him play every other game until the end of the season. It would be good for both of them.

Now for the actual Bitz and Pieces:
  • Hearing the crowd chanting "We want Bitz" at the end of the game was great! And the big roar when he skated out. How fun was that?
  • Seeing the hard working but snake bit Bergeron take that puck to the net... I swear my heart actually stopped. And when he scored! How fun was that?
  • Ryder played like a starving dog with a piece of meat dangling in front of him! One has to wonder if Ryder wasn't the spark that made this team explode again. Is Ryder, next to Thomas and Chara, one of the essential ingredients to this team?
  • Axe's big hit and all around physical play. How can you tell the difference between someone who understands hockey and someone who doesn't? Just ask them what they think of Axe. If they say he wouldn't be missed... they don't get it.
  • Kobasew and Looch played like cruise missiles looking for something to explode on. And the best part was that their hits weren't just statements, they often resulted in a turn over or scoring opportunity. Now that's hockey!

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