I see a lot of irrational ideas when it comes to the Bruins and there is nothing like a poorly performing team married with the trade deadline to bring them to fever pitch. One particular theory keeps coming back again and again that really irks me. After having a fantastic season a team comes back the next year and plays poorly. The bizarre explanation by some is that the team never really was that good in the first place; they somehow "overachieved." The previous year was a fluke. In fact, the team has little or no talent. If you buy into this idea then the solution to the problem is to go out and get more talent.
A team can be more than the sum of its parts. A team can come together in such a way as to reach its full potential. This intangible unity is what makes a championship team. But it is nonsense that a team can somehow reach beyond their full potential, particularly for an extended period of time such as an entire season. Logically, your best is your best; there is nothing better. This idea of "overachieving" is a myth.
Yet I have seen and read again and again the view that the Bruins overachieved last season. In this view the entire season was a fluke. The "real" Bruins is the team we see now. The B's don't have enough talent, so the obvious solution is to bring on more talent at the trade deadline. Or at least it seems obvious to the people I see commenting, such as in this article by the Hockey Genius Eric Wilbur.
Yet on its face the argument makes no sense. The Bruins are essentially the same. Their skill level remains close to what it was last year, even without Kessel. What has happened is that they are no longer playing up to their potential. In a word, they are underachieving. Sure, getting the right guy into the locker room might inspire the rest of the team to get out of their funk, but that's a gamble at best. No, we usually blame someone else when a team consistently underachieves. I'll go ahead and come right out and say it: if the underachieving continues the rational solution is to replace the coaching staff, not the players.