The Bruins suffered another embarrassing and frustrating loss last night at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Naturally, Bruin’s twitter went freakin’ nuts, me included. However there were two sides to the spectrum of insanity last night. On one hand, people were bashing the team and coach Claude Julien, calling for a trade to be made, him to be fired, or both. On the other, there were people defending Claude, like me.
This season has been less than desirable, and while the coach does have some impact on a team’s performance, it’s almost impossible to blame the entire thing on them. As I’ve said before, probably a hundred times, there’s extreme talent on this roster but the inconsistency is it’s downfall. The younger Bruins are still getting used to the NHL, and not all of them could be studs like Connor McDavid. The vets have been struggling as well. Marchand and Bergeron, arguably the two best players on this team, started the season off incredibly slow but have since picked it up. Captain Chara is close to 100 years old, or so it seems, and the second oldest, David Backes, was more expensive than what he’s actually worth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the Backes signing, but at his age I really disagree with how much cap space he’s taking up and how long his deal is.
Here’s another reason why you can’t blame this shit show of a season on Claude: he’s not on the ice. This man stands on the bench while his players go out there and embarrass themselves. It never fails to amaze me that a team who records so many shots on goal can barely score. On the other side of the ice, they suck at defending goals as well. Looking at last nights game, there is zero way anyone can argue with me and say this defense is good. They’re not.
The first period at the Joe ended with a 4-1 Bruins lead, surprising since the game before they got shut out (and embarrassed yet again) by the league worst New York Islanders 4-0. I was pumped. There already had been talks of Julien’s job being in jeopardy, so I took this as the team rallying behind their coach to prove his worth. Second period, not so much. Detroit started to chip away at the lead, eventually tying it all up at 4. Want to know how I knew this game wouldn’t end favorably? Adam McQuaid scored. Although that goal regained the lead for Boston, it was almost like a bad omen. With not a lot of time left in the third, here come the Wings again, 5-all. The game tying goal was probably one of the worst defensive efforts I’ve seen from this team all season, which is really saying something because they are not great by any means necessary. Overtime was exciting, Marchand got stuffed on a breakaway that I thought would’ve sealed the win, but it went to a shootout. Not much you can do at that point when Thomas Vanek scores an absolute beauty, and Frans Nielsen gives your goalie a little shake and bake before burying the puck for the win.
I was angry, and I’m still angry. Part of me feel like the people lobbying for Claude to lose his jobs are those who know little to nothing about hockey. Unless he’s coaching the team, responsible for all the roster moves, AND playing, there’s no way you can blame him for this. Blame the team.
Hell, blame the execs. The roster moves they’ve made over the past few years have been the basis of this epic collapse. How are Seguin and Lucic doing since they left? Holding on to Loui was a great move even though his leaving was inevitable. There are so many possible acquirements they could make that would help this team get back in the running for a cup, maybe not this year but in the near future. There’s a lot of big name free agents this year, such as TJ Oshie and Ben Bishop but do I think anything will happen there? Nope. I’ve learned to not expect much from the higher ups, possibly one of the only realistic and consistent things I have from this organization.
Tell this team to wake the fuck up, because at this rate we’re looking at another playoff-less season and I don’t think I could take that again.
A new coach of a crap team won’t solve the problem.