Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Parade of Heroes

I was hoping that the early adversity would bring some good things to the Bruins and I think this has finally happened. With Savvy and Looch out Bergeron has escalated his game to an elite level. Through sheer will he has become a force to be reckoned with, making an impact on every shift. And with the injury to Thomas, Rask has been able to put enough games together to become confident in the net, bringing him another step closer to being a No. 1 goaltender.

So let's take stock, shall we? Last season Looch proved himself in the playoffs, elevating his game with timely hits and scoring opportunities until the very last moment. Thomas too proved himself an elite goaltender last season. Not just because he played consistently well enough to win the Vezina, but because of his strong play at critical times--something he has continued to do this season. Likewise Savvy has proven to be the rare player with passion, skill, and a magic touch with the puck.

So let's imagine for a moment: imagine if... Bergeron were to continue his hard play, his recklessness with a purpose, into the playoffs. Imagine if Chara were to not hold back, but to crush forwards every time they ventured into his zone (as we know he can). And imagine if he started to pick the corner of the net as well as putting the puck in the pads for a rebound and thus scored more goals (as we know he can). Imagine if the talented Dennis Wideman played every single shift with the same intense focus. Imagine if David Krejci were to play with the confidence he showed last season, which leads to nothing short of magic when the puck is on his stick. Imagine if Thornton and Begin played every shift with the intensity they brought early this season. If you imagine these things all happening at the same time, in every playoff game... it is not hard to imagine the Bruins being unstoppable; it is not hard to imagine a four game sweep to win the Cup.

For too long the B's have had a parade of heroes. Bergeron today. Thomas last week. Savvy the month before. In my opinion, the only thing holding them back from a Cup is to bring it all together at the same time; to become a team of heroes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting Ugly

It's getting pretty ugly out there in Bruins land. Whether it be fans railing against Timmy for not playing defense as well as goaltender in front of his net in OT, or coach Julien telling the media, "I don’t think I should have to answer the question they (the players) should answer," when asked why they came out flat against the Islanders.

As far as the team's play goes, I think the recent Pittsburgh game pretty much summed it up. From a Hockey fans perspective this was a fun game. The B's were in it almost to the finish. Almost. They even managed a game-winning goal with two minutes left, taking the lead for the first time only when it really counted. How cool was that? But a broken stick here, and a loss of concentration there, and somehow they still didn't come out of it with two points.

Hey--here's the thing: unlike many fans this is actually what I wished for at the start of the season. I wanted them to see adversity and to learn from it so they would be stronger come playoff time. But that doesn't make it any less ugly, and the looming prospect of a total team meltdown from which they cannot recover is frightening.

That said, I still believe these guys have what it takes, from the GM on down. Just hang in there B's fans!