By Matthew Cunha
From 2008-2014 the Boston Bruins re-entered the Boston sports scene after years of struggles. The Bruins had been on the bottom of totem pole for much of the 90’s and early 2000’s. The post lockout run included 6 playoff appearances in a row, four division titles, a President’s trophy, two trips to the Stanley Cup Finals, and one Cup. The B’s had a young nucleus with guys like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Johnny Boychuck. They had a Vezina winning goalie in Tuukka Rask signed for the next 8 years and they had stars on the horizon in Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. The future for the Black and Gold looked brighter than ever. Even after they traded Tyler Seguin in the 2013 offseason, they won the President’s trophy in 2014. Needless to say, a 7th game lost that year to the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference semifinals, would prove to the beginning of the end for the ‘Black and gold.’
Fast forward three years and the story with the Bruins has done a complete 180. After another mind numbing 3-0 loss to New Jersey Devils on Monday night, die hard Bruins fans have had it with the team’s inconsistent play.
Two and half years of underperformance and late season collapses have pushed away all casual fans gained during the six year run of prosperity. As a die hard, these recent events have been downright depressing. The lack of action from GM Don Sweeney and President Cam Nelly is eye opening. The Bruins don’t have the talent to win titles, but they have enough to barely make the playoffs. The Bruins do feature a capable goalie, two talented centers (Krejci and Bergeron), a couple of rising stars (Carlo and Pastrnak), and a six ranked defense led by Zdneo Chara. Continued losses to the next to last place New Jersey Devils are unacceptable. Each of the past two seasons, the Bruins were in position to make the playoff for 3/4th of the season. Talent alone can’t be blamed for collapsing
At some point, something has to change and yet, nothing has. A trade? A firing? Something? Anything? Yet, after 2 and a half years of underperforming the only person to take a hit has been GM Peter Chiarelli. New GM Don Sweeney has done exactly the same things that got Chiarelli fired; overvaluing and signing mediocre players to awful contracts. Sweeney signed players like Kevan Miller, Adam McQuaid, and Torey Krug to long multi-year deals that greatly limit the teams cap flexibility. So even these additions have come at a steeper price than I think the brain trust believes. I think it is time for the Boston Bruins to finally do something instead of watch as there team get beaten daily by the slums of the league. I would recommend firing the coach who at some point has to take responsibility for not getting his team ready to play every night. The collapse the two last seasons has to leave somebody to blame. It his job to prepare the team for the games. So many times during the past two and half years the Bruins have fallen flat on their faces and generally in big games or against the worst of the league. The ax has to fall someplace and I think this year, Claude going to be standing underneath it.
Matthew Cunha is a producer on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.