Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Falling fast

Posted by bdowd625 on January 25, 2010

I want to apologize for the long layover between posts. The local sports teams have done nothing of any real value over the last week or so, and I haven’t been inclined to write about any of it. Until now, that is.

The way the Boston Bruins have played the last month has been nothing short of disgusting, culminating in last night’s embarrassing 5-1 loss to basement-dweller Carolina. I’ll be the first to admit it – yes, Boston has injury issues. But can that one problem be the main cause of the Bruins’ demise in the Eastern Conference this season? Hardly.

This team doesn’t score. Say what you want about Phil Kessel – and a lot of people have since he was traded to Toronto in September – but the guy could put the puck in the net. No one on this Bruins team has that innate ability. Sure, Michael Ryder is a sniper when he wants to be, but when he’s not scoring he offers little help in other areas of the game. Blake Wheeler has been largely disappointing in his sophomore season, and when you couple that with Marc Savard’s injury and mediocre play by Marco Sturm and David Krejci, it’s really no surprise that Boston’s offense is floundering. The rumors about getting Ilya Kovalchuk from Atlanta are all fine and good until people realize he’s going to make up about 95 percent of the payroll if Boston decides to extend him beyond this year.

Defensively, the B’s are a wreck. Dennis Wideman was called out publicly by head coach Claude Julien and yet he seems to have done nothing to elevate his level of play. Derek Morris? Overpaid has-been. The only two Bruins defensemen I really like are Matt Hunwick and Mark Stuart. They play hard, they play physical and they make about half as much as the so-called “top” blue liners like Zdeno Chara.

In net, Tim Thomas looks fat and happy. After winning the Vezina Trophy a season ago, Timmy was rewarded with a lucrative contract by the B’s brass this offseason and has done nothing to justify it so far. It’s time to start going with Tuukka Rask until further notice.

The Bruins are knee-deep in their own problems right now and I’ve heard whispers that Julien might be getting axed if things don’t turn around in a hurry. That seems a little hasty considering last year’s No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but the B’s drastically need to shake things up. And, as I heard my man Gary Tanguay say on the radio today, you can’t fire the players.


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