Re: Bruins: More Than Just A Playoff Team
posted at 3/23/2010 10:10 PM EDT
In Response to Bruins: More Than Just A Playoff Team
I honestly believe that the Bruins have a legitimate shot to challenge for the cup this year. The team was a cup favorite going into last year, but faltered out of the gate from contract disputes and injuries. Not getting Raycroft signed until exhibition began, not signing Boynton until 5 games into the season, to go along with Zhamnov being injured heading into the first regular season game, was a horrible beginning. The team was in turmoil from the start, and it clearly affected the on ice play. As the season went on, they were hit by injury after injury and ended the season with the most man games lost in the NHL. It was a horrible season, but it was not because of the overall talent of the team. I would place the blame largely on bad fortune, and poor management. A lot of names have changed on the roster since the start of last year, but I believe this team is still equally as talented, if not more. Gone are players such as Thornton, Samsonov, Scatchard, Green, Boynton, Gill and Raycroft, but we have aquired the likes of Sturm, Savard, Kessel, Primeau, Donovan, Chara, Mara, Stuart. Talent wise I think that the second group of names is better then the group of players that they have lost. Add to that the emergence of Bergeron and Boyes, and you have a better looking team at the start of this year then the start of last, in my opinion. Losing the presence of Joe was big, but I think signing a player such as Chara gives the Bruins that superstar presence in which they lacked after the Thornton trade. I haven't yet gotten to the main reason why I think that the Bruins will have great success this year. The main reason why I think the Bruins are a legitimate contender immediately is eight letters long. Toivonen. This guy is ready to show the rest of the NHL what he is all about. Not only will he fill the highlight reels, but he will be putting up great numbers while doing it. A lot of people think that Atlanta will make the playoffs based largely on having Lehtonen in nets, which I do agree with. Kari was selected much earlier in the first round then Hannu, and still might have the edge to this point, but Toivonen is right up there with his fellow finn when it comes to talent. They both should have great years if healthy. The difference to me is that Toivonen has a much better team in front of him. If Atlanta can grab the 7th or 8th spot, primarily from having Lehtonen, Kovalchuk and Hossa, then I believe that Boston can be near the top of the east with Toivonen in net, and a much more talented and balanced team in front of him. On the subject of goaltending, I will also mention that Thomas has continued to play great, and the Bruins may be looking at the best tandem in the league. I'm sure that Boston will decide to use Thomas quite a bit as well, but if he struggles at any point, then Toivonen is always there to take over. Lastly, is the fact that there is a new coach and new GM. I thought that Sullivan was a good coach, and I will reserve my thoughts about O'Connell, but it was definitely time for a change. Our new coach and GM each come from successful organization's, which I think is a great thing. Dave Lewis had arguably the greatest coach ever as a mentor. Lewis has won cups as an assistant coach, and had good success in his brief stint as head coach in Detroit. It was a team that had come off of winning the stanley cup in '02, but a couple of 48 win season's is still an accomplishment. Chiarelli, I am not as familiar with, but I like what he has done so far, even if Gorton had a large hand in it. He comes from Ottawa, who have built one of the best teams in the league over the past decade, so he should know what it takes to form a winner. The down side of course, is that both of these men have had great regular season success, to go along with playoff failure. Something that is too familar with the Bruins. However, it's the player's that do the winning and losing in the playoffs. The real leaders will need to step up, and I think that the Bruins have specifically one guy that really has what it takes in that department. Bergeron. Anyways, this is why I believe that the Bruins have the ability to do a lot more then just grab a 7th or 8th seed and lose in the first round of the playoffs this year. I think that it's a better team than last year's supposed cup contender's, and that a lot of people around the NHL will be surprised at what the Bruins have to offer. I am not saying that the Bruins are my personal front runner to win the cup, but I think that they have a reasonable chance to contend. Ottawa, Nashville, San Jose and Calgary would be my top tier teams. I think that Boston falls into the second tier with the likes of Anaheim and Buffalo. *Disclaimer: All of this is relevant, barring any major injuries. Injuries can destroy almost any team, and I am clearly paranoid of them happening.
Posted by CharaMara
will you SPARE US this pom pom waiving!!!! I am getting diabetes for goodness sake