(Photo Credit: Deposit)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

The 2021-2022 Boston Bruins may seem like a “shadow” of their old hockey-playing selves.

The win-one, lose-one mediocrity malaise; the consistently inconsistent play from the top line right down to the bottom pairing; the sporadic scheduling; the unfortunate health happenstances (from COVID to the Flu bug).

You can best believe, all of the above is bugging the heck of out everyone right now — from players to personnel to media to fans alike!

But this as-currently-constituted B’s team is a LOT like other notable rosters who, for the better part of an always arduous hockey season, hung around just long enough to get hot.

The Bourque-Neely-Moog teams of the late 80’s into the 90’s; the pre-lockout Byron Dafoe and Andrew Raycroft-led campaigns of the early 00’s during the prime’s of Joe Thornton & Sergei Samsonov; the past few years of the Bergy-Marchy-Pasta-Rask core.

Sure, that core (minus Rask at the moment… but maybe not for long?) playing near .500 hockey and hardly scoring at all during 5-on-5 play can be frustrating to watch — on television and especially in person (right Max Mainville?).

But if there’s anything the city of Boston knows how to do, in particular Bruins fans, it’s ride the tide of their teams. We all know from recent history the end result of at least two President’s Cup-Winning campaigns for the B’s (hence why I won’t make anyone relive them).

Being the leader out-of-the-gate AND at the finish line means nothing when it comes to banners that matter. Things that also don’t matter: ridiculous takes from media microphones that ought be muted when mentioning such sacrilegious topics like “blowing up the team” or “trading Brad Marchand or Patrice Bergeron.”

(Yes, ALL of social media is calling you out Mike Millbury lol).

So, what are the sensible solutions to debating the State of the Bruins right now? One would think after the recent HUGE win over the talented Edmonton Oilers (a win that should get multiple players going, especially Linus Ullmark), the panic button might have a few more moments before being pushed again.*

*Side note: I can’t even remotely pretend to be objective here because that’s a button I’ve pushed often and without rhyme or reason over the past three decades plus — as a fanatic fan and as a bellicose blogger!

00Evan – My Apologies

One very obvious takeaway from the team’s current play is that despite the struggles and softness, the B’s are truly in the thick of it — both in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference Wild Card race.

Points percentage stats already have them as a “playoff” team but considering the multiple games-in-hand Boston has against EVERY opponent (divisional, rival, interdimensional) how can you count the team out now?

The Bruins have also been playing without key contributors due to a plethora of predicaments lately: Marchand’s suspension, Head Coach Bruce Cassidy’s COVID protocols, Taylor Hall’s Copperfield-esque disappearing act.

Get the band back together by Christmas and the New Year and oh baby… these B’s could bond!

Which brings us back, full face-off circle, to the reason why we bond together as fans of this team. Love ’em, hate ’em, cheer ’em, boo ’em… belaboring and equally believing in the B’s at the same time is a Boston tradition.

So let’s ride it out in true Black N’ Gold style, with plenty of frustration and fanfare to share in together around the water cooler, the holiday dinner party and the frenetic family feast this year.

Who knows? Like true Boston fans say every season: “this could be OUR year!”