The Proverbial Corner

Super Bowl Sunday did not bring much happiness for me.  I participated in a weekend long pond hockey tournament (New England Pond Hockey Classic) up on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, NH and my team lost in the semi-finals to a group of ringers.  Even though the entire weekend was a fantastic experience overall it was a little bit of a disappointing finish.  I lost everything in the Super Bowl squares pool I was in (see you later $20), as well as losing $50 on the bleeping Colts.  Couple all this with sore muscles from 3 days of multiple hockey games, all the alcohol consumed from Thursday night to Sunday night, and the heartburn from all the awesome food I devoured all four of those days and my body, mind, and wallet weren’t feeling fantastic Sunday afternoon.  However, the one bright spot was the Boston Bruins.  It’s shocking, I know.

On Sunday afternoon, while we were all being bombarded with constant Super Bowl pregame shows that were so repetitive that even the creator of the “Pete and Repete” joke would have issues with it, the Bruins shut out the Montreal Canadiens 3-0.  Few were more satisfied than I with the victory at the Bell Center in Montreal.  The Bruins gathered an early lead and never looked back, something fans of the black and gold are not used to.  Generally, the team goes up 2-0 early then loses 3-0 in a shootout.  Mr. Tuukka Rask had other ideas making 36 saves and collecting the SO victory, something the Bruins haven’t seen since December 30th.

So, where does this leave the Bruins?  Right now they are two points out of the 8th and final playoff spot going into tonight’s game against Buffalo.  This team hasn’t quite turned the corner to being a contender yet but, they are peaking around to see what’s there.  Breaking out of the slump Sunday was them starting to move toward greener pastures.  Two things need to be done here to help turn the corner completely and go into the playoffs with a full head of steam.

1. Ride the hot goalie, regardless of their name or their pay check.  Currently, that guy is Tuukka Rask.  Face it, this is the guy that gives you the best chance to win right now.  Granted, if the team is not scoring you can’t win, nor can you pin a loss on a goalie or the 6th best defense in the league for that.  However, momentum does start from the crease out and Tuukka is playing phenomenal right now and he needs to continue to start.  Once he has a bad game, that’s when you turn the crease over to Tim Thomas until he has a bad game…and so on and so forth.  The loyalty will lie on the goaltender playing the best on a day to day basis.  These guys are serious competitors and the competition will continue to bring out the best in both of them.  Let me reiterate here, goaltending is NOT the problem.  This is merely a solution to help this team do some damage the rest of the season.

2. Make some moves.  This team is flooded with draft picks and prospects and frankly a key reason why they are there is for trade material.  This team needs a goal scorer or two and quite possibly another 2nd or 3rd pairing defensemen to help build the depth on the blue line.  The Bruins need guys who can stretch the ice and create more scoring chances that aren’t garbage goals or broken plays.  When was the last time you said to yourself “wow, that was a beauty” and had it refer to a Bruins goal and not an oppositions tally or a female with long legs in a business skirt you saw on your lunch break?  Exactly.  Garbage goals are important but, this team needs scoring touch and need to stop relying on lucky bounces to get ahead.  Guys they could go after are Peter Mueller in Phoenix, Ray Whitney in Carolina, Gilbert Brule, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner, and Ethan Moreau are all possible inquiries in Edmonton.  A defenseman I’d love to see them go after is either Brent Seabrook or Cam Barker in Chicago or grabbing a Scott Niedermayer or James Wisniewski from the struggling Anaheim Ducks.

No matter what happens the Bruins need to shake up this roster if anything is going to happen on Boston ice this winter/spring.  The Olympic roster freeze starts this Friday so, there could be a flurry of roster moves toward the end of the week.  I still believe this team has a chance, albeit a small one.  Remember, all it takes to win the cup is a hot goalie and some momentum and anything can happen come June.  Just ask the current Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins where they were this time last year (answer: 10th place in the east).

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2 Responses

  1. All it takes is one hot goalie…agreed…but that goalie should be Tim Thomas…As a fan and a realist, the playoffs will have a field day with Rask as they did with Carey Price. Rookie goalies fold in the playoffs. Lets not ride a hot goalie and/or platoon between two, because Thomas will always win out, as he has done three times over…..Good looks on Peter Mueller however…but it is the Bruins…

  2. Oilers aren’t moving Gagner. The other two are possible/likely.

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