I’ll be the first one to say I am not the biggest hockey fan, let alone a Boston Bruins fan. But being in one of the most influential hockey hotspots in the country, it’ll be impossible to ignore the sport. Also, being a sportswriter and sports fan myself I would be doing myself a disservice not to at least pay attention to the sport. With that being said, I have to say the Bruins have been the most lackluster team as of late.
The Bruce Cassidy hype train has predictably died down and the Bruins now sit on the edge of the making the wildcard spot. This might be the third year in a row where the Bruins have a playoff spot in sight and choke in the clutch. When these events happen, it can usually be pinned on one thing: the core. That is why I say remove the core and start over.
To start, the people that thought that the “Bruce Cassidy” era had begun and thought “who needs Claude” need to see the trend of firing long time/successful coaches in all of sports. Take a look across the pond at the English Premier League. Last year, Leicester City won the league for the first time in their history. They became only the fifth team in the last 25 years to win that league. It would be like the Browns beating the Steelers, Broncos and Patriots in the playoffs and then going on to beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. It would be a miracle and that was Leicester City last year.
Then on Feb. 23 of this year, with the team on the verge of dropping into the second tier of English soccer, some players led a mutiny which caused the firing of coach Claudio Ranieri that led them to new, unimaginable heights. The team hasn’t lost a game since then. Sound familiar? It shouldn’t because nothing has changed for the Bruins. There are still the same players, same staff, same mentality and everything so what made people think that changing a coach and a couple wins would change anything? Now they are basically in the same position they were in last year and the year previous. The Bruins are still the underachieving team they were under Claude Julien and with Bruce Cassidy that’s why it’s time for a change.
In order to truly create a new mentality with any sports team, you must get rid of the old guard or nothing will change. That means getting rid of David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Jimmy Hayes, Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug, Patrice Bergeron and the fragile Tuukka Rask. The only players I would keep are the youngsters like David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo. I would also keep one guy that would serve as an example of how things should be done and that is Brad Marchand.
With a new head coach like Cassidy who can implement his own stamp on the team, then and only then will the Bruins change. This will give way to the creation of a new atmosphere, a new mentality, and hopefully, a better team that will be contenders for years to come. If that doesn’t work, then look toward the front office as the root of the problem i.e. Cam Neely. If that’s truly the case, be prepared for more years of underachieving because if I know the Bruins they never fire their own, especially a Bruins legend like Neely.
Daniel is a senior journalism major. Find Daniel’s stories online at tnhdigital.com.