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Murray and Rolston hurt this team, but Jacobs, O'Connell, Sullivan share blame too.

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04-19-2004, 11:03 PM
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MeisterBruinmaker
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Murray and Rolston hurt this team, but Jacobs, O'Connell, Sullivan share blame too.

Whelp, the Bruins blew it. The fact is, when you're up 3-1 and the opponent just suffered a big blow in the name of a double OT loss, there's no excuse to lose the series. As O'Connell said, it was up to the players, and they couldn't get it done. But there's plenty of blame to go around, starting at the top:

Jacobs - His philosophies have long made it difficult to acquire and retain top players, and it had an effect yet again. The 2003-04 Bruins had few playoff tested veterans in the core of their team. These are the players know what it takes. Yet when guys like Nieuwendyk, a proven playoff leader, are there for the taking, they pass. Much of this comes down to the way Jacobs runs his organization. His business-first mantra ensures that the Bruins rarely if ever overpay for any player. Just the same, they are always sure to use the CBA to the maximum of their ability. So the team he has is a function of this, and not necessarily a function of building the best group of players who can deliver in the crunch. Moreover, Jacobs and his managers have to learn that the best way to build a true winner is to amass a solid core of guys you know can deliver, and add the finishing pieces over time. It's very difficult to go from a playoff participant to true contender in one hop. They have to learn and fine tune. Yet the Bruins have rarely followed this path.

O'Connell - Whelp, he said after the Bruins were eliminated by the Devils a year ago that his team didn't have the work ethic or leadership needed to win. Interestingly enough, these were two of the main reasons the Bruins failed once again this year. If he keeps getting players like Murray, Rolston, Knuble and O'Donnell and heavily depending on them, then we can expect to see more of the same. Likewise, when he condones naming Thornton the captain because the franchise player and not because he's shown the kind of leadership and strong demeanor on the ice, well, that will make it difficult too. Your captain has to deliver. Lastly, as I've maintained for years now, if O'Connell continues to build a defense corps where every player has distinct liabilies (a factor that has never been addressed since O'Connell took office), then we will continue to see teams that come up short.

Sullivan - The playoffs are a game of adjustments, and the coaching staff didn't do enough of them. Clearly you know this is a problem when Bruins are playing the opposition's game who are the weaker team. For one, there were strategies implemented by the Canadiens which were never countered. For example, they effectively shut down the Bruins cycle, they took away the B's time and space on the PP, they played into their strengths by gaining speed through the middle, and they used their quickness to create turnovers and mistakes in the offensive zone. Simply put, aside from game #1, the Canadiens played their game, and the Bruins didn't play theirs.

Thornton - Yeah 0-0-0 stats are terrible, but I'm not going to jump on the "blame Joe for everything" bandwagon. The stats are terrible, no doubt, and his intensity at times seemed much too lacking, but I will reserve judgment until the details of his injury become clear. Aside from that, the fact is, the guy is only 24. In my mind, it was never the smartest move in the first place to name him captain, at least not at such an early point in his career. For one, maturity-wise, he is a late bloomer. Two, since when did he exhibit the strong traits you find in a captain? Joe has shown himself to be more of the happy-go-lucky type rather than the Mark Messier type. If anything, I think naming him captain backfired more than not. Either way, if the B's really had to name him captain at such an age, then they should have surrounded him with guys like Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk for at least the first few years. In the end, while I think he could have done more, I think it's a big mistake to lay the blame at his feet. One last thing...I think what Kevin Paul Dupont did was completely assinine. Attacking what has been one of the best players to wear the Bruins sweater in the last 7 years right before one of the biggest games of his life was TERRIBLE judgment. He should have shown some class and waited until after the series. What a punk. That was very selfish. He's officially on my crap list.

Murray - Since the day he came to the Bruins, I've always had the same complaint of Murray; he doesn't deliver when it counts. Well, it happened again. Maybe he gets 40 goals in the regular season, but that doesn't do any good if he blows it in the playoffs. So much for the big Allison trade, it only gave the Bruins two big chokers. But Murray's detriment goes even further than his lack of goals. He not only crapped out at the worst time, he also took undisciplined penalties which hurt his team. In game six with 9 mins to go, he took a real stupid one. Any way you dice it, he hasn't been a go-to guy for the Bruins in the playoffs. If your best goalscorer is pretty much nonexistent, then it's going to hurt your team. Simply put, when it counts the most, Murray has been a big disappointment.

Rolston - Rolston was directly responsible for at least 3 goals against the Bruins. Each time it was a blown coverage. This is simply unacceptable in the playoffs. Not only that, but he must have missed the net on every other shot. Throw in a couple of bad penalties and you have a player that not only failed to deliver, but he hurting his team. What a complete disappointment. Just as with Murray, if your premiere veterans aren't gonna deliver, then you've just about sunk from the start. No doubt he'll never wear the spoked B again, he just played his way off the team.

Gill - While all these people have been pointing to the great year he's had, I keep keep seeing a huge liability. I think the benefit he brings to the team is too heavily outweighed by his drawbacks. The fact is, the guy turns over the puck on just about every other play in his zone. What good is that when you have a guy that can hurt you this often? Several times during the season I noticed the same thing - how a Hal Gill turnover led to a momentum change and a near-scoring opportunity. Sure enough, it was the same old thing in this series. While Montreal was the worst possible match up for him, his downsides were still a distinct disadvantage for the Bruins. It may not have been any fault of Gill's, but in my mind he was another contributing factor as to why they lost.

Knuble, Lapointe, Axelsson, Gonchar, McGillis, O'Donnell, Slegr & Boynton - Aside from a few inspirational moments, these guys didn't make a big difference. I won't say they played badly, because they were do helping in some ways, but then their positives didn't far outweigh their negatives. For example, Knuble got the big goal in game #4, but often he seemed ineffective and invisible. Lapointe was often hitting everything in sight, but he pretty much blew any hopes of a tie late in game #7. Axelsson made a few good plays, but he was rarely a factor in the offensive zone. The list goes on. Unfortunately, none of them stepped up to be a big hero.

Samsonov, Nylander, Bergeron, Green and Raycroft - In my mind, the only guys who deserve accolades. That's simply not enough. No way. Anyhow, Samsonov was the points leader. I am amazed Sullivan didn't give him more ice time in game #7, but that is another story. And Bergeron, what a player he is going to be. Green also delivered. He took a few dumb penalties, but his drive and grit outweighed his mistakes. And while some may question whether Raycroft deserves to be on the list, I say yes. The guy is a rookie who had three outstanding games. Tonight he was again very sharp, though he was giving up too many rebounds. For a rookie, I think he did a heck of a job. The fact is, the Bruins were too reliant on him too often. Their lack of intensity and defensive breakdowns finally cost them. Just the same, it's never easy on your goalie when you let the other team go up by 1-2 goals.

Aside from all this, a few trends seen here all season long surfaced once again to take this team down:

Lack of intensity - To me, this is a function of leadership. O'Connell identified this last year against the Devils, and even though the red flags were prevalent again this season, here we are today with it still a problem. Unfortunately, good leadership guys aren't easily found. Most teams don't let them go. I steadfastly held that Joe Nieuwendyk was one of those players, and he was there for free last summer. But even though the Bruins had a huge gap at center, they weren't interested. Explain the logic to me, because I don't get it.

Undisciplined penalties - A function of two things, poor work ethic and defensive liabilities. Guys like Murray and Rolston usually are the worst offenders when it comes to poor work ethic. Too often the Bruins are thinking things are going to come easy, and it blows up in their face. Other than that, many of the Bruins penalties happen when they are running around in their end. That's often a product of their defense, which is too slow or lacks ability to keep body position on the opponent. Things break down, and boom, penalty. Either way, some of us said this could be a downfall for the Bruins in the playoffs, and sure enough, it was.

Mistakes in the defensive zone - See above. First, it's fair to acknowledge that Gonchar and Slegr have help tremendously. The Bruins had little to no transition capabilities, and they helped improve this area. Just the same, their puck skill and skating abilties gave the B's some deft movement they sorely needed when their defense was under attack. That said, the fact is, each of the Bruins defensemen have inherent liabilities which can result in breakdowns. This has been a problem since before Bourque left. Worse, when your forwards are losing their coverages, like Rolston did so many times, it makes matters worse. Since January, the Bruins had shown a marked improvement in their defensive play. But the fact is, the liabilities and lagging work ethic surfaced again at crunch time.

Poorly performing powerplay - The reality for the Bruins is that they had most all the elements you need to have a good powerplay; big forwards to set a screen, playmakers who can pass, point men who can shoot, stars like Thornton and Samsonov who can create space. The problem came down to one word: execution. Part of that has to do with the players, and part with the coaching. As mentioned above, the coaches have to make adjustments when the opponents use tactics that play into their favor. That wasn't done. Just the same, the players have to crank up the intensity and play like it's the last minute. That wasn't done either. Instead, what we saw was 5 guys spread out too far who were much too stationary and who were making long passes on the perimeter.

Strategic issues never addressed - Again, as I said, the playoffs are a game of adjustments. Ever since game #2, it became clear that one of the strategies Montreal was using was to collapse 4 guys down in their defensive zone and effectively take away the Bruins cycle. It worked, and the Bruins coaching staff or players never made any adjustments. Not only was Montreal able to execute this strategy, but it played into their strength. When the B's were in the corners, the Habs cut down their passing lanes and quickly attacked, giving them no space. Thus, when the B's attempted to pass into the middle from the sideboard or from behind the net, often the Canadiens would intercept the puck and spring out the transition using their speed. In essence, the strategy helped Montreal on two fronts, one, it trapped slower Bruins forwards down low and created large gaps between the Bruins forwards and defensemen, and two, it enabled Montreal to play into their strength by creating speed through the center ice. This enabled the Habs to effectively neutralize Boston's premiere strength of using their size to control and cycle the play along the boards while setting the wheels in motion for the Bruins to consistently give up their blueline.

Tactical changes were never made - Aside from all this, the bottom line is Sullivan failed to get the most from his players. The top line of Thornton, Murray and Knuble didn't perform through the first 6 games, yet there were hardly any changes. Similarly, the same happened with Rolston's line. Just the same, the PP was lacking in execution in large part because of Montreal's precise tactics, yet nothing really changed. Even though the alarm bells were going off, nothing seemed to happen. Worse, Sullivan broke up Nylander, Samsonov & Bergeron instead of sticking with what had been the Bruins most successful line. Just the same, Sullivan broke up this line because the Thornton line wasn't able to handle Koivu's line.

In the end, all of these factors contributed to yet another one of the most disappointing losses in modern Bruins history. Most of all though, it came down to execution. That rest with the players and coaches. Still, you have to look at the track record of the players we were depending on to deliver in the crunch. Too many big guys failed. That is a function of the GM. Anyways, say hello summer.


Last edited by MeisterBruinmaker: 04-19-2004 at 11:16 PM.
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04-19-2004, 11:14 PM
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For me, it's not the right time to assess what went wrong. Not the right time for me to try to sort that out, I mean. You've presented a pretty lengthy list of issues. I think the good news for people who see things this way is that a non-trivial shakeup might be in the offing. We'll see, but I am not expecting status quo +/- 10% change.

 
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04-19-2004, 11:19 PM
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Nice work as always Meister.

I don't know if there is anything I could add but I will say this:

Claude Julien may look like Elmer Fudd, but in the end he was Bugs Bunny compared to Sully. He made changes after Game#1. Game #2. Game#4. Again this year a Bruin coach got out-coached.

Is Sully so in love with this group he didn't want to hurt their feelings by taking someone out of the lineup? And what about the lines? Bugs Bunny fed our Daffy Duck his lunch again. Julien moves Kovalev to the first line. Click. Ask yourself what the TOP line in the playoffs is right now? The one that gave Gill, O'Donnell & McGillis fits and all of us flashbacks to 2002. Did Sully adjust to any of this. Nope. 700 lb. line over and over and over again. PP? Killed us. But Sully kept sending the same groups out there.

Enjoy your carrot Bugs, you beat our Elmer Fudd, and the Bruins, again.

That's up doc!

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04-19-2004, 11:19 PM
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I agree whole heartedly w/ everything excpet the part about O'connel....all the players mentioned where all under contract following that crappy playoff ansd werent going anywhere, after the CBA is eventually settled, im sure the team will be totally revamped.

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04-19-2004, 11:28 PM
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Meister, that was a great read and I agree with you on alot. Also, kudos for being able to think straight after game 7.



.. hopefully, the sun comes up tomorrow

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04-19-2004, 11:34 PM
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One thing I'd like to add w/reguards to management-CONTRACT. The best teams KNOW who the guys they need are AND sign them to longterm contracts in the hopes that they will repay the loyalty. LOYALTY-Key word. Half our team is UFA's right now. In the back of some guys heads might they be thinking "Well screw this. They wont sign me here for longer then a year or two anyhow so why should I put forth a huge effort" versus a guy thinking "Hey, they got me locked into a 4 year contract worth some serious cash. I'm going to go full out in this series and show them they made the right decision" All I know is that the broadcasters tonight made it clear that the habs WERE ALL SIGNED beyond this year?? Does anyone know if that infact is true??

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04-19-2004, 11:42 PM
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Meister, a sobering but solid effort once again. From one journalist to another -- a resplendent, sublime read.

Boston is lucky to have you in charge of the West Coast Chapter.

You and Captain Kirk are top notch.

Have a good summer dude.

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04-20-2004, 12:00 AM
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Meister, great analysis, but you forgot one stiff-Zamuner! Otherwise very impressive read, I'm just too ditraught to think too much more about this tonight.

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04-20-2004, 12:17 AM
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Habs fan view :

I agree with you and it's an exellent post , but i think Gonchar was very good and always made wise play with the puck . He killed us in the 1st game and was always a force in everygame . The Habs adjusted a did way more pressure on the D even on the PP and they ''shut'' down any creativity from Gonchar , if it was not of sound play by the Habs Gonchar would have produced like in game 1 .

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04-20-2004, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary
All I know is that the broadcasters tonight made it clear that the habs WERE ALL SIGNED beyond this year?? Does anyone know if that infact is true??
Not exactly. Kovalev is an UFA and Ribeiro is a RFA, but overall, the core is signed, yes. Gainey made a great job this year assuring that there would be no distractions whatsoever.

Anyway. congrats for a great series guys, but the best team won*

* At least, the team that want it more won.

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04-20-2004, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Jozeph_Balej
Habs fan view :

I agree with you and it's an exellent post , but i think Gonchar was very good and always made wise play with the puck . He killed us in the 1st game and was always a force in everygame . The Habs adjusted a did way more pressure on the D even on the PP and they ''shut'' down any creativity from Gonchar , if it was not of sound play by the Habs Gonchar would have produced like in game 1 .
OK, regarding Gonchar and Sully:

Gonchar was used to playing on the PP with Jagr and Bondra. It's a different situation here in Boston. Also, Sully should have been playing Gonchar on the other side. What was up with that?

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04-20-2004, 12:31 AM
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Rolston had a chance to redeem himself for his poor backchecking job on the first goal when he had that slapper on Theodore during the PK from the Lapointe penalty. But like he has for all of the playoffs, he couldn't come through when we needed him. I say he's gone. Say hello to your new full time third line center...Travis Green!

Murray was such a dissapointment. Again, another Bruin who we needed to step up with Thornton playing with the two fractured ribs and a jammed wrist. Muzz was muzzled for much of this series, and when open, couldn't bang home his shots. Way to many swings and misses at the puck for a guy who's considered one of the best goal scorers in the past few years.



Those would be my two scapegoats for this series. These two stiffs are a big reason why this summer will be a long one...


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04-20-2004, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeddarRants
Rolston had a chance to redeem himself for his poor backchecking job on the first goal when he had that slapper on Theodore during the PK from the Lapointe penalty. But like he has for all of the playoffs, he couldn't come through when we needed him. I say he's gone. Say hello to your new full time third line center...Travis Green!

Murray was such a dissapointment. Again, another Bruin who we needed to step up with Thornton playing with the two fractured ribs and a jammed wrist. Muzz was muzzled for much of this series, and when open, couldn't bang home his shots. Way to many swings and misses at the puck for a guy who's considered one of the best goal scorers in the past few years.

Those would be my two scapegoats for this series. These two stiffs are a big reason why this summer will be a long one...
Goes to show you how truly one-dimensional Glen Murray really is. If he can't set up around the circles and have the puck fed to him, then he's pretty much ineffective. Just as bad are his untimely penalties. Altogether, three years in a row and he's basically choked in a BIG way. Here's his numbers:
18gp; 4g 6a 10pts, -8, 7.5% shooting pct

Rolston was also a HUGE disappointment. HUGE. Not only couldn't he bury any of his chances (how many times did he miss anyways?), but his defensive gaffes directly resulted in three Canadien goals. This is unacceptable. It's just another example of a lack of focus and work ethic. Just like last year, he was a complete nonfactor, only this time he took more stupid penalties. Here's his stats since 2002-03:
12gp; 1g 2a 3pts, -6, 5% shooting pct

Take together, only FIVE goals in 30 games from two of your KEY veterans. That's pitiful. Add in the combined -14 along with the STUPID penalties and you can see just how much these guys have hurt their team. That's a horrific showing, and a good reason why they should have NEVER been counted on in the first place. If the Bruins want to have guys like this, fine, just don't expect them to carry the team.

What this team really needed was a blood and guts leader who could have let it all out on the ice. The closest thing the Bruins have to that is Martin Lapointe (followed by Sean O'Donnell). Sorry, but neither are go-to guys. The fact is, the way O'Connell built this team, there wasn't much of this kind of leadership on the team, period. We all wanted to hope that a committee approach would suffice, but once again, it didn't.

Looking at the forward lines, where's the battle tested leadership?? There's the top line that consisted of a 24 year old captain flanked by two guys with little intestinal fortitude. That was followed by a crafty and skilled trio that didn't have much in way of size or seasoned leadership (ie Francis, Roberts, Nolan etc). The third line had a good defensive player who is usually a nonfactor in the offensive zone (Axelsson), along with the one battle proven vet (Lapointe) and a center that has never been known for his gutsy performances. Fortunately, the B's had Green, a player more brave than Murray and Rolston combined, to work into the top-9.

In any event, the mental toughness, execution, inspirational leadership and ability to take it up a notch just wasn't there from the Bruins top-9, and the fact is, with guys like Murray, Rolston and Knuble as your KEY veterans leading the charge, it should have never been expected anyways.

Yeah, the players didn't deliver, but it can be said that many of them just showed the true colors that should have been evident all along.

PS -- I also agree...Green and Nylander would be two good players to have back.

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04-20-2004, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeisterBruinmaker
Goes to show you how truly one-dimensional Glen Murray really is. If he can't set up around the circles and have the puck fed to him, then he's pretty much ineffective. Just as bad are his untimely penalties. Altogether, three years in a row and he's basically choked in a BIG way. Here's his numbers:
18gp; 4g 6a 10pts, -8, 7.5% shooting pct
Meister, want to hear something amazing?

Glen Healy, who did the broadcasts on CBC for our series:

"Murray is one of the best two-way players in the league.."

Can you believe that? It's the only time I laughed during a game in the playoffs this year..

.. oh yeah, other then watching Ribeiro act like a fish out of water at center ice and watching Kovalev collide into Souray

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04-20-2004, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruin_Ron
Meister, want to hear something amazing?

Glen Healy, who did the broadcasts on CBC for our series:

"Murray is one of the best two-way players in the league.."

Can you believe that? It's the only time I laughed during a game in the playoffs this year..

.. oh yeah, other then watching Ribeiro act like a fish out of water at center ice and watching Kovalev collide into Souray


Goes to show ya what Gln Healey's credibility is worth around the NHL...

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04-20-2004, 06:46 AM
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I agree with just about everything except Knuble.

I thought he was doing exactly what he's supposed to do, fight along the boards and then go to the net for the screens & rebounds.....scoring a couple of goals the very same way that Montreal beat us in this series. He can play for my team anytime.

I had a bigger problem with some of our defensmen curling away from expected hits...

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04-20-2004, 08:25 AM
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Great post Meister, but I also disagree about Knuble. The guy is the ultimate overacheiver. He constantly gives you a solid effort. Without Joe he is not a 25-30 guy, but he hits, grinds and seems to make few mistakes that cost you. He reminds me of a young Cashman and wouldn't surprise me if this was the kind of guy we want for a Captain or at least an Alternate.

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04-20-2004, 08:43 AM
  #18
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Indeed a nice analysis Meister.

I've been voicing my disdain for Muzz for a while. Brings nothing when he isn't shooting.

Knuble I thought was strong and like the others above me, I'll take him any day. I've never seen a less talented player have so much success, and he does it away from Joe too.

I also have to say I thought McGillis had a very solid series. Gill was horrid last night, just horrid. He must have unnecessarily iced it 5-6 times.

Such a dissapointment in general....

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04-20-2004, 08:45 AM
  #19
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Originally Posted by Gary
One thing I'd like to add w/reguards to management-CONTRACT. The best teams KNOW who the guys they need are AND sign them to longterm contracts in the hopes that they will repay the loyalty. LOYALTY-Key word. Half our team is UFA's right now. In the back of some guys heads might they be thinking "Well screw this. They wont sign me here for longer then a year or two anyhow so why should I put forth a huge effort" versus a guy thinking "Hey, they got me locked into a 4 year contract worth some serious cash. I'm going to go full out in this series and show them they made the right decision" All I know is that the broadcasters tonight made it clear that the habs WERE ALL SIGNED beyond this year?? Does anyone know if that infact is true??

half, i thought 3/4's of them werent signed beyond this year.

I'll say this though, Mcgillis really stepped it up in the play offs, he was a physical stay at home presence and had more scoring chances than Boynton did (and if u asked me who would have stood out more before the playoffs between the two, i would have laughed at u and said Boynton hands down.......)

Gill who??? If it wasnt for his gaffs i wouldnt have notceid him either. Odonnell, outside of game seven, was he even playing as well??

Gonchar, loooked tired out there the last few games.

Thornton, with his injuries, was used way to much. two cracked ribs and a sore wrist, and he was avergaing what, 20 minutes of ice time in some games????

Green, Lapointe, Bergeron, Sammy and Nylander i think were the heart and sole of this series up front. They really stepped up there play i think (Beregeron was with a little less consistency, but for an 18 year old rookie, its still more than i expected)

Zamuner and Hilbert, when used, i thought were very effective 3rd or 4th line type players.

Knuble i think was the best player out of the 700 lb line.

Raycroft, no complaints here.

Rolston and Axellson, not so bad for what they are, checking defensive players. Problem is, we needed tham to produce, and they dont.

And Murray, see ya later. About as creative as a fish embrio. At least he took the body a bit in this series, but the combination of him and Thronton is just terrible when they arent allowed to get one timers from the face off circle off at will, or if he isnt on a break away.

Sullivan, while i liked him so far this season, he waited far to long to really mix the lines up and see my Thornton comments. Knowing the extents of the injuries, he definitly over played him.


Last edited by bb_fan: 04-20-2004 at 08:52 AM.
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04-20-2004, 08:55 AM
  #20
maltobello
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Great post, a really concise and insightful view of the team. I think you nailed the points about team leadership, poor defense, and lack of intensity, which killed this team in the playoffs.

Leadership - Why should Thornton be captain?...who else could be? Martin Lapointe for sure has the intensity, but was he paid that money to be a 3rd line player? Can you really lead the team when you're on the ice <15 min. a game? Sean O'Donnell?...same argument. Good player, but I don't see him as the captain. Besides Thornton, is there anyone on the top 2 lines that brings it every night? Biggest weakness on this team, the guys with the biggest hearts are low skill 3rd or 4th line guys.

Defense - Hal Gill has no business playing a major defensive role on a playoff team. Jiri Slegr stepped off the waiver wire, and into the 2nd pairing on defense. O'Donnell and McGillis are good guys that try hard, but they shouldn't be the best defenders on the team, they're better suited for support roles.

Lack of intensity - this all seems to come back to leadership, and coaching.

In the end, this is a poorly built team that has some serious flaws. Everyone jumps on Jacobs about spending money, but I think that the Bruins have the budget to put together a decent team. Jacobs' comments last year about New Jersey were on the mark, they should get better results for the money they spend. I think O'Connell is like Sinden in that they both worried too much about overpaying each player instead of building the best team they could within a budget.

I think the bruins were a poorly coached, one dimensional team, with a lack of leadership, and poor defense. Sullivan didn't give this team a clear identity, and when they lost their focus, they weren't able to function as a cohesive unit. Overall, Sullivan reminded me a lot of Ftorek, same poor discipline, lack of vision, lack of leadership from the bench.


Last edited by maltobello: 04-20-2004 at 09:21 AM.
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04-20-2004, 09:03 AM
  #21
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You guys really think Knuble made a big difference in the playoffs? Coz that's what I said - big difference, not that he wasn't working hard.

I basically put Knuble in the same category as a bunch of other guys who contributed here and there but not enough to make a big difference. Yeah I like his work ethic and grit, but aside from his 2 goals, he was -5 and not really visible for a second straight playoff. The good thing is he didn't take the kind of stupid penalties Murray and Rolston did.

All this doesn't mean I dislike what the guy brings to the table. If anything, I believe he's one of the few UFAs who's earned his keep, which is why I've advocated his return on other posts. I just don't see how he made a big difference in the playoffs.

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04-20-2004, 10:14 AM
  #22
Kev Bruin
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Great post!
Most of it was like you were reading my mind. Out of all our UFA's the one's I would want back are.
Nylander- This guy is a great hockey player, I knew he was good but after seeing him for 20 + games he's a keeper.
Knuble- But only for the 3rd line. He's a gamer with size and grit who can put the put in the net or at least has the balls to stand in front of it.
Green- Great grit, good on faceoffs and a good leader.
Donato- Played hard, smart, skated killed penalties. great 4th liner.
Murray (disapointment), Rolston ( terrible, Horrible), Zams, Grosek, McGillis. All should be gone.
Slegr we keep if Girard can't play again.
Potvin we keep if he plays for half his salary this year.
One of Gill or O'Donnel we keep, the other we cut loose (my preferance would be we keep OD.
We bring in some of the kids. Hilbert showed me he can play at the NHL level. Zinovev should be able to stick with a full training camp next year. Sammy2 has 2 years in the minors and should be able to handle the 4th line rw role next year. It's time to bring in some of the kids, a top flight RW. A left shooting mobile D-man(not offencive,but mobile) and we should be pretty solid next year.

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04-20-2004, 10:20 AM
  #23
Mad-Marcus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeisterBruinmaker
You guys really think Knuble made a big difference in the playoffs? Coz that's what I said - big difference, not that he wasn't working hard.

I basically put Knuble in the same category as a bunch of other guys who contributed here and there but not enough to make a big difference. Yeah I like his work ethic and grit, but aside from his 2 goals, he was -5 and not really visible for a second straight playoff. The good thing is he didn't take the kind of stupid penalties Murray and Rolston did.

All this doesn't mean I dislike what the guy brings to the table. If anything, I believe he's one of the few UFAs who's earned his keep, which is why I've advocated his return on other posts. I just don't see how he made a big difference in the playoffs.
The point is that he is not being paid as a difference maker. The skill set isn't there, but he is arole player with a crapful of character. He can play for me anyday. To blame him is peeling the onion to deep.

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