The Misguided Myth of the Modern Big Bad Bruins
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01-27-2013, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Grenville, Qc.
Originally Posted by
This has bugged me for awhile, and I didn’t want to bring it up so that people could misquote me as saying “size = winning” or something of the sort, but after hearing the HNIC guys speculate that the Rangers picked up Arnott (6’5) to help counter the size of the Bruins, I thought I would finally address this myth that has seemingly become fact in the minds of many.
The Bruins are NOT the biggest team in the league.
In fact, on average (which is what a “team” is) we are one of the smallest teams in the entire league!
Obviously, having Chara and Lucic as 2 of the main faces of your franchise (I would argue they are the #1 and 2 faces of the franchise now with Thomas gone) has skewered everyone’s view of what the Bruins are. Do we have some big, tough players? Absolutely. Does every other team? Yes. I’m more interested in the average player here who laces em up for the Bruins,
I cannot tell you how many times a variety of friends (who all cheer for different teams... but mainly the Canucks) will lament about how nice it must be to be a fan of the “biggest, baddest team in the league”. I disagree that we are. Now (for those of you who skim read or just read the first paragraph) this isn’t to say that I am calling for a dozen roster changes –I do, however, think this is something that needs to be addressed. For the record, I’m not 100% sure we need to get any “badder” but I do think we need to get “bigger”.
Our D is fine, and bring our average up. Our forwards need an injection of size.
I am not wanting to turn us into the Caps, but last year in the playoffs Vs. the Caps we were expected to bounce em early but I must say that I thought their big bodies up-front game them a big advantage over the 7 game grind. Ward and Hendricks were beauts for them (and Chimera did his job knocking McQuaid out of action earlier). They really worked our D over, and our forwards didn’t return the favour on theirs. We didn’t even come close to matching their size:
Joel Ward: 229
For comparison: Kelly and Paille were our 4th BIGGEST forwards @ 198 pds. While they had 9 players that were 210pds+, we had 8 forwards in that were still in the 100s.
I think the ‘Big Bad Bruins’ thing really works for us, but for our TEAM to have that reputation, we need more players on our TEAM with at least manageable size. I would bet large amounts of $ that we have the smallest set of left wingers in the NHL… even with Lucic. Think about that for a minute.
I would never imagine getting rid of Lucic, Marchand or Paille… so I guess that leaves an obvious area to upgrade. If Bourque starts sniping like fellow mini-rookie Conacher in Tampa has been doing, then he can stay, but that is the only way we can afford to have TWO 5’8 left-wingers on this team. If not, we need a big bodied presence on the left wing to upgrade our forward size. A Winnick type (210+pds with some finish) would be great, but those guys are hard to come by.
IMO, we need some size, speed, hustle and hitting added to upgrade this forward unit for a long playoff run. So what are the options?
1) Caron (has some size) seems to be Julien’s default button, but I’m not a fan of him at all.
2) Sauve (always see him listed at 6’2) has 6” on Bourque and has speed to burn but no real hitting. I’d like to see him get a bunch of games in so he either takes the role fully or makes himself more valuable at the deadline as a trade chip.
3) Move Paille up to the 3rd line, and put in MacDermid on the 4th. Tell the kid to just worry about putting pucks deep and start laying on the body.
4) Trade for big-bodied forward
5) Wait for DKH's boy, Knight, who can make some hits
6) Call up Camara on emergency basis for the rest of the year
This is getting too long, so I’ll cut it off but I would like to hear some input from your guys on this. I’m not saying: size = winning directly --but some teams are getting bigger to battle us and I think we are not keeping pace at all. I think, over time, we also got a false sense of how big and tough this team is because, for years, we had 3 of the softest teams in the entire league (Leafs, Sabres and Habs) in our division and we looked like brutes beating up on them.
I see your concern Colt and it is a good point. Lets not forget we were without Horton in the Washington series. I don't think size for size's sake is the way to go though. I think you need quality size. Chara, Lucic, Horton, Thornton, Boychuk, McQuaid and now Dougie give us some pretty big bodies who can play the game or deliver an important role. Other teams have size but they either aren't that talented or they don't play with an edge (Max P and Eric Cole in mtl neither guy is striking fear into anyone anytime soon).
The Bruins over the last few years have emphasized strength and muscularity (that is to say the weightroom stays busy according to Pierre McGuire) and as a result mid-sized and smaller players like Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Ference and Seidenberg have maxed out their frames with muscle. They also bring the right attitude to the game that allows them to use their strength.
This team is loaded with tenacity. Guys like Marchand, Paille, Campbell, Ference and Seidenberg play alot bigger then they are which is why other teams are intimidated by a team that looks bigger than it actually is. It isin't any blowfish phenomenon either these guys might not be giants but they will smack you in the mouth. I think the main thing is that Chia and co go after players with a certain mental makeup that breeds physical play. I don't see Chia and Neely's strategy changing anytime soon.
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