By Court Lalonde
We’re almost at the all-star break, and the Boston Bruins are looking more and more like a non-playoff team again. After every loss, we hear the same excuses and its starting to sound like a broken record. I honestly think Claude must just have an excuse board and picks his cliche for the day and runs with it. Their current record is 23-19-5 and are sitting second in the Atlantic with Toronto and Ottawa close behind and both teams have five games in hand.
To say they started the season off slow is an understatement; they have been inconsistent all year. Only once this year the Bruins have been able to win more than two games in a row, and that was at the beginning of November. They have the tendency to play great against the stronger opponents and fall flat against teams below them in the standings. They need to at least show-up night in and night out because some nights I think the farm team could play better.
Patrice Bergeron is having the slowest start in his career and is a minus player more nights than a plus lately. The rumor is that he is playing with an injury, but no one can confirm or deny that fact. Zdeno Chara is showing that age is just a number and is one of the best players on the back end and maybe that has something to do with playing with young up and comer Brandon Carlo. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are lighting up the score sheet and are the only players generating offense on a consistent basis. David Krejci and Tory Krug show flashes of offense and then some nights are just invisible or giving away the puck. David Backes has come as advertised and has been a great addition to this hockey club and has not let up. Dominic Moore has been a pleasant surprise and has been consistent all year and is already on the pace to out produce his production from last year.
Tuukka Rask has been brilliant most nights and if the Bruins have to give an MVP to someone at the midway point of the season, it should be him. He has been near the top for all goaltending statistics all year and has been chosen along with Brad Marchand to be in the all-star game for the first time in his career. The Bruins should be worried about burning out Tuukka and are hoping that McIntyre can give him the much-needed relief that Khudobin wasn’t able to provide the first half of the season.
I wish I could have the answer to what can motivate this team in the second have of the season, but I’m not in the room. Is a coaching change the answer, I’m not sure but the Bruins do need an attitude change, and fast or will be golfing sooner than they know it.