Re: Acquisitions since The Cup
posted at 3/30/2013 8:57 PM EDT
This post Lockout schedule has been brutal! For everyone! You're left to wonder how these guys can do it! This Bruins team was lucky, early on, to lose very few man-games to injury - enjoying a lot of time off between games - and prospering for it. Then the schedule got crazy (Feb 18th-ish?). And crazy continues; games every other night that only increase in intensity and importance - and this is all before the 40,000 watt blow torch of the Playoffs is switched on!
If Chiarelli has been guilty of anything here, I think it is that he has not kept ahead of the threats posed by his schedule; the threats of injury, fatigue, even complacency.
He has not adhered to the old adage; 'that you hope for the best but plan for the worst'.
Never one to build from strength. or strike when the iron is hot, Chiarelli has always seemed a little too content to wait til things get untenable, for when his leverage is at its nadir.. You can't say the same about his chief Conference rivals this year; Montreal was already going great when they switched out Cole for Ryder and were still going great when they saw that they weren't winning many face-offs and added Halpern. The strong got stronger.
Same could be said for the Penguins; super strong but still looking and dealing and again, from strength; Morrow, Murray - all before Iginla - and not for the Playoffs necessarily, more in the name of addressing small needs now. Malkin goes down, not a hiccup. Letang? Same.
I find it fairly revelatory to remember back to Chris Kelly's injury - the first real serious and long term blow to the team of the Season - I remember at the time (even tho he wasn't exactly lighting it up) how it felt...like a bit of a torpedo midships, like the Bruins weren't ready to absorb even one serious injury. One dog's bark stops the wagon.
Now the Bruins look hobbled and tired. Chiarelli has little to no depth to address it and everyone in the League knows it. Julien can't give anyone a break and can't afford even one more injury, a precarious position to be in. Chara is logging huge minutes, Claude is rolling 4 lines (giving too many mediocre players too many minutes with the mandate, 'just don't make a mistake') because he has to.
Chiarelli, as good as his team was playing, as invincible as they once looked (hard to believe now), should've resisted the temptation toward self-satisfaction. Perhaps he should've been trying to hit a few singles, all along - even when it seemed that they would never lose and everyone in the League was blowing smoke up their azzes - instead of waiting to take these huge and predictable public swings for the fences.
Now, it seems that he's running out of leverage and time, the Regular Season can't end fast enough.