The poor play of the Bruins this season is becoming difficult to watch. I have always said that I expected only one thing from my team: heart. If they lose every game, so be it, but they must play with heart on every shift of every period in every game. I'm not some wannabe sports writer or GM, I am a Bruins fan, and I will never be ashamed of that, no matter how many games they lose, as long as they hit hard, skate hard, and play hard. They can lose 10-0, but I expect the other team to be bruised and bloody. If you can't score, you can still hit! In short, I expect this team to play like Bruins.
Sadly, as of January 2015, this team is no longer playing with the heart that I have come to expect. Whether it be the lackluster first period against Carolina, or for that matter the lackluster play in nearly any second period, or the keystone cops routine that led to their loss in OT against the Senators, something is seriously wrong.
Perhaps even more painful than watching the games (and yes, I do still watch every one, as I have since 2005-2006) is reading articles, blog posts, and comments. There are always those malcontents out there who have been biding their time, waiting for the team to falter so they can air their anger. Many are still angry about Seguin being traded away. Others have always hated coach Julien--I had to laugh when I read that he wasn't playing the young players enough this season! Others simply don't like the Bruins style of play. They want a higher-scoring team that puts less emphasis on defense. Still others think the Bruins need to get rid of (insert any current Bruin here) or trade for Taylor Hall to solve all their troubles.
Many wannabe GMs like to claim that the current ills are the result of Chiarelli's poor player management. In some circles these claims are so often repeated that some take their truth for granted. But I have not seen any facts or actual analysis to back up these claims. In the next part of this three-part series I am going to investigate the Bruins salary structure and player quality to see if their woes really lie in player management or personnel.