Not surprisingly, last night’s 9-2 loss to Milan Lucic and the Kings garnered no shortage of opinions on the state of the Boston Bruins.
For example, here’s CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty:
…the Bruins no longer have the kind of roster that can hold up in a ground-and-pound battle against the best of the West. Their 5-9-3 record against the Western Conference this season is clearly indicative of that. Julien pointed that out on Tuesday after watching his team get shellacked by the Kings and the point is valid: it’s probably time for the Bruins organization, the fans, the media and those around the league to wrap their minds around the concept that this season’s Bruins team can’t be held to the standard of past B’s teams.
They’re younger and quicker in some spots, but they’re also nowhere near as good.
And here’s ESPN’s Scott Burnside:
Yes, Boston owns a wild card spot as of Wednesday morning, but is anyone confident this is a team that can stay there, or make a dent if they get in?
WEEI’s DJ Bean had some thoughts:
Ultimately, the Bruins won’t need to worry about their record against good Western Conference teams because they sure as heck won’t be meeting them in the playoffs this season. Still, games like Tuesday against the Kings and the pre-break finale against the Ducks provide a nice reminder that despite hanging around in the East, the Bruins’ days of dominant play are well behind them. Given that they haven’t developed many young players and their core is only aging, that next wave of greatness could be pretty far away.
And so too did NESN’s Jack Edwards, who opined during last night’s broadcast, “There has been a talent drain in Boston.”
Edwards was referring (again) to the once-vaunted Bruins defense that has struggled to replace Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton. Further complicating matters, at 38, Zdeno Chara is the third-oldest defenseman in the league.
Now, granted, it was only one game. Sometimes, a team just lays an egg. The Bruins are still in a good spot to make the playoffs.
That being said, even if they hadn’t lost so badly last night, the pressing question for the B’s would still be what GM Don Sweeney plans to do ahead of the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
Take winger Loui Eriksson, a 30-year-old pending unrestricted free agent who’s enjoying a fine season with 16 goals and 24 assists. He could net the Bruins a nice return.
True, losing Eriksson for picks and/or prospects would make the Bruins weaker in the short term. But with that defense, the reality is that the short term may not be salvageable anyway.