Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trouble Bruin

How quickly things can go downhill. As it stands now the Bruins have some big problems; problems that I think may be bigger than similar ones they have faced in recent years.

For starters, they need to get the defense back. While we were all celebrating the wild win against the Habs I had this nagging worry at the back of my mind: sure they won the game, but they let the Habs score 6 goals. Beginning that night the Bruins--arguably one of the best defensive teams in the NHL--have allowed an average of 5 goals per game. Claude Julien needs to get the players thinking defense again and fast. I get the impression that they changed up their game some--forwards now work to open up space and use their speed as an offensive weapon, but it is working both ways. They are scoring more goals, but giving up even more. There are too many odd man rushes with speed; too many turnovers at both blue lines; and they aren't clogging up the neutral zone. Playing like the Oilers of old may be great fun, but it's not getting the job done.

Another problem that needs to be addressed is their power play. It has struggled all season and Claude needs to find the time to get it on track while they still can. If Chiarelli can land the right player to QB the PP before the deadline that could help a lot.

But the biggest problem is more difficult. The Bruins played near the top of their game against Detroit and San Jose and came up losers. This wasn't a lack of effort or a poor performance, the Bruins simply weren't they better team. The Western Conference is so competitive this year that I fear whatever team wins the Eastern Conference final is going to get crushed, the Bruins included. There is only one solution to this one: the whole team has to work harder to get better between now and then.

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