Pros and Cons of the Bruins
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10-24-2003, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Bay area, California
Originally Posted by
We need patience- there are going to be 'exhilerating' wins and 'downer' defeats like we saw in last two games. Its a long season- remember, the Florida Marlins back in late May were 10 games under 500- not back under.
I'll use another baseball reference- Billy Beane says you take the first third of the season seeing what you have. Screw Damphousse, Bondra and the rest- sure they're sexy but lets see what Bergeron and Zinovjev have. Its, a long, long season. If the Broons in February or even January want to go out and pick up one of these player sure- but right now I'm paying $73 dollars a game and I'm all for the kids. If you have to struggle here and there, lose some games you might've won but long term your teams is much better off- I say play the kids. Heck, even Orr only had 41 points as a rookie. These guys are going to struggle at times but this team has enough veterans to allow them wade into the league.
I think we need to be patient- every win shouldn't be met with dreams of Stanley Cups or losses with 'lets shake it all up'. If the Hawks had been more patient with Hasek or the Nucks with Neely they would have been a bit better off wouldn't you say?
Zinovjev, Hilbert, Samuelsson, Bergeron, Jillson, Raycroft vs the Damphousses, Bondras, Amontes and Potvins of the world? Give me the yutes.
I think something is being lost in the communication. I'm not advocating veterans over the youths - not right now anyways. The Bruins need to see what these guys can do, including Hilbert, Zinovjev and maybe even Morrisonn and Jurcina. Now is the time to experiment.
However, come February, the Bruins should know whether they have answered their questions. And therein lies the rub. As of now, I think the Bruins have more parts than pieces. Whether that will have changed by then remains to be seen, but if not, the Damphousses of the world could be the right fit to nullify any potential weakness that could be exploited in the playoffs.
It's not lost on me the potential of the youth. For instance, there is a distinct possibility that Bergeron could end up as the second line center we need. I am skeptical with him being 18 and not quite physically mature, but if he was clicking with Samsonov, then the B's may have answered an important question. Whether Patrice could stand up in the playoffs is a different story, but if playing him meant the B's had a chance to balanced out their attack rather than carrying a potentially deadly flaw, then if he was truly ready, I'd rather get him the experience -- even if he wilted under pressure -- than acquire other players or have a weakness such as in year's past.
As far as Hilbert and Zinovjev, they are considerably behind the eight ball. This may be a "development" season for them instead of the contributory one Bergeron is having. To that end, I am a bit more suspect on their real impact on the Bruins issues.
Again, when looking at the bigger picture, if the Bruins want to compete come the playoffs, they have to know what they've got. The players have to fit together so there's balance and minimal weakness. As of now, the Bruins have many parts but not necessarily the right pieces. This is evident on the second line, where Samsonov is playing with two glorified muckers, and on the defense, where the size and strength are dominant but mobility and skill are largely void. I'm not sure the youth can answer these questions. Perhaps to a degree, especially in Bergeron's case, but the B's may have to look elsewhere if they want the best chance. That's where the veteran acquisitions come in.
So yeah, let the youth play, see if they can answer the call, but be prepared that they may not. Beyond that, if the Broons want to assure their competitiveness come the playoffs, they should be honest with themselves about what they have and take sensible steps to address any shortcomings. As long as it's not costly (ie no top prospects), such strategically placed additions to the roster could mean the difference between making the finals and entertaining their next early exit. See where I'm coming from??
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