Hello there True Believers! It has been two long months since I last posted and there is a lot to talk about. I do not even know where to start! Obviously, fresh in everyone’s mind is the fact that Marc Savard will be out for the remainder of the season…again. But before I get to that, I want to talk a little bit about what the Bruins have been doing for the past few months and then I’ll get to the current stuff.
When I wrote last, I talked about what the Bruins were going to do when Marco Sturm returned to the lineup. Peter Chiarelli took care of that problem quickly by trading Sturm to the Kings on December 11th. And at last, the final player from the Joe Thornton trade is no longer in Boston. So that situation has been taken care of but what about the Bruins’ abysmal powerplay from the beginning of the season? Has it progressed now that we are more than half way through the season?
Well here it is: the Bruins PP has converted on 16.8 percent of its powerplays. How much different is that from December? A whopping one percent more! Is that progression? Yikes, that is still a ridiculously low number for a team that wants to be considered a contender. Can I pinpoint a cause for the lack of production of the man-advantage? I wish I had those skills but when you spend more time in your own end on a PP something needs to be done. The Bruins never seem to be able to set up the way they want to and even when they do, they still cannot produce. Don’t get me wrong, as a whole, the Bruins have looked better but they don’t seem to be able to follow-up a solid performance with another solid performance. And they still like to let teams back into games.
This was evident in the Dallas Stars game. I was lucky enough to be at the game and boy, what a game it was! It had everything a hockey game was supposed to have (minus the Paille hit). It had physicality, fights, and goals, lots of them! Driving from school here in Rindge, NH meant that we got to our seats as the puck dropped and thank goodness not a second later! I sit down with my cheesy fries and souvenir drink and to my surprise Steve Ott is fighting. Wait what? Yes, so Mr. Brave Steve did fight in his return to Boston but out of all the fighters on the team, he drops the gloves with Campbell. I think Campbell is a greater player and fighter but I’m just saying that Thornton or McQuaid could have done a little better but then again, we all know Ott would not drop with either one of those tough guys. We all must remember Ott running away from Thornton and the Sheriff Shane Hnidy.
Four fights in total and I would declare Bruins winners of all four. Ference, McQuaid, and Thornton absolutely destroyed their dancing partners. Ference and Thornton actually fractured their opponents’ orbital bones. How crazy is that? Two Bruins breaking the orbital bones of two Stars? I say that is pretty crazy but you never like to see that happen. So after the first period the game was easily dominated by Boston. Four fights won and four goals scored, two by Bergeron. Things were looking good but we all know how the B’s seem to like letting teams back in the game. The Stars would manage to get within one goal and even scored a shorthanded goal. Even as great as this game was to see in person, watching the Stars slowly creep back was not cool. It brings up bad memories and a full 60-minute effort is still something the Bruins need to work on.
So here we are now. It’s February 8th and the Bruins are 3rd in the Eastern Conference but with Montreal close behind in the Northeast Division the Bruins can easily fall to 6th place if they are overtaken by the Canadiens. Things were looking pretty good for the Bruins until that game against the Avalanche. And somehow, things come back to…Matt Hunwick? I wish no one had hit Savvy in that game but why did it have to be Hunwick out of all people? Either way, the situation is that Boston is without Savard for the rest of the season, and this time, there is no chance of a cameo in the playoffs. No doubt this is a tough break but with all things, the Bruins will need to find a way and most likely, Chiarelli is going to help find that way by doing some dealing at the trade deadline. And as much as I like the team, something does need to be done.
Best wishes to Savard for a quick recovery and here’s to hoping we see hockey in June at the TD Garden!
Pierce Arrow Blogger