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The Misguided Myth of the Modern Big Bad Bruins

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Old
01-27-2013, 03:03 AM
  #1
Colt.45Orr
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The Misguided Myth of the Modern Big Bad Bruins

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:

Ovechkin: 230pds
Knuble: 229
Joel Ward: 229
Beagle: 215
Brouwer: 213
Chimera: 213
Backstrom: 212
Hendricks: 211
Laich: 210
Semin: 209
Johansson: 205

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.

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01-27-2013, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt.45Orr View Post
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
To get 4) you need to trade 5) and 6).

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01-27-2013, 03:49 AM
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Great post Colt. Outside of Lucic, Horton, and Thornton, we don't have much in the way of size among the forwards. I think sometimes fans confuse toughness ( which we have plenty of ) with size when really they are different things. I'd love Brooks Laich on our third line with Kelly and Pevs, but I don't think we can afford it cap wise. Giving Lane a chance would be our best internal option IMO. The kid can play a regular shift in this league with his hockey awareness and he's a pretty decent skater. Option 3 for me.

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01-27-2013, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt.45Orr View Post
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:

Ovechkin: 230pds
Knuble: 229
Joel Ward: 229
Beagle: 215
Brouwer: 213
Chimera: 213
Backstrom: 212
Hendricks: 211
Laich: 210
Semin: 209
Johansson: 205

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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01-27-2013, 07:36 AM
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It's about the attitude

Pretty much everyone, even Seguin, will throw down if necessary. Not only that but they thrive in it

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01-27-2013, 07:57 AM
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Bourque needs to go I don't think he makes it a full year in the nhl. I love a player like Iginla I think he would look great in a Bruins line up. Correct if I'm wrong didn't we win a cup with a smaller team. I think we need another veteran like a Recchi.

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01-27-2013, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt.45Orr View Post
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
You know what, it is a myth or at least some people are mistaken, but I wouldn't put them as one of the smallest teams though. It depends on what website you use, and do you include goalies? Do you include no talent/healthy scratch plugs? Those numbers can be skewed by 1 guy. Replacing Bourque with John Scott would make us one of the biggest teams but doesn't mean we would be better. Adjusting for size X time on ice would bring us up further. Our biggest players actually play a lot as opposed to guys like Scott, Sestito, Orr, Shelley, McLaren, Westgarth, Bollig, Hordichuk, M Kassian, McGratton, Barch, Janssen, Boulton, Reaves, Labrie, etc.

And just because they aren't the biggest team doesn't mean they aren't the Big Bad Bruins. Are they not one of the toughest teams? Do they not have one of the best combos of size and skill in the league? Who can match a forward & D combo of Lucic & Chara in TOI, scoring, skill, hitting, toughness?

I disagree with just about everything you said. The only thing I agree with is we could use an upgrade on Bourque. If it comes with size then great - I mean Cam Neely is my favorite player ever. Last I checked he was retired. Given the rest of the team I'll take skill over size any day. We have plenty of toughness despite the lack of size of some forwards.

We won with Ryder & Recchi who weren't big. We lost to Washington for a variety of reasons little of which I think has to do with size. Part of it was the loss of 2 big players (Horton & McQuaid), but I don't think it was because of size. It had more to do with losing their skill, underperformance of almost the whole team, and Bergeron injured & not being able to take faceoffs. Combine that with a hot goalie, some bad luck, a tired team, and the last goal that should not have counted, and there is your 1st round exit.

The Rangers didn't get Arnott for size to compete with us. They had great size already. They got him because he is still a decent player (they hope after the layoff), and they have been relying very heavily on the top two lines. They needed depth. Yes his size is good. I'm not scared of their size. Richards, Gaborik, their D and Lundqvist are what I would possibly worry about.

Who did teams add?
Buffalo - added a 5 minute plug (Scott) and Ott (not big). They also got rid of Kassian for a smaller skill player.
Montreal - Prust. Added toughness but not that big. Who else? Armstrong. Sorry not worried about their size at all.
Ottawa - lost size and toughness. Carkner, Konopka, & Kuba.
Toronto - 5 minute plug (Orr). Anyone else? Lost Rosehill & Armstrong.
Washington - lost Semin and Knuble (and Wideman), signed Fehr and Wolski. They probably lost a little size there and I would rather face Fehr & Wolski than Semin & Knuble regardless of size or toughness. None of those guys are tough players anyway.

Our other main competition:

Philly - big D, very small centers. Couple of plugs for big guys - Shelley and Sestito. I'm more worried about their skill.
Pittsburgh - same thing, not real big anyway, but their skill is more worrisome than size.

If these guys want to trade any of their skill for toughness, then I say let them. The Bruins do play their best when hitting and engaged by the other team.

We have one of the best combos of size, skill & toughness in the league. Caron & Sauve will get their chance if Bourque can't cut it and they deserve it. MacDermid will too but what will he add? 1.4 lb to our average and a guy who will play less than 10 minutes a night? Knight will hit but isn't big. He also needs to prove he can stay healthy and play in the AHL before he gets a chance. Camara, I know that was a joke and isn't happening at least until their would be a real emergency, but let's also let him prove he can play higher than juniors first. Coming in to throw a few hits and not scoring isn't going to be a big help. Bourque by the way is 4th on the team in hits though it obviously doesn't have the same effect of someone with size.

#4 is their only option if someone (Bourque, Caron, Sauve, MacDermid, Spooner, Tardif), whether they have size or not doesn't work out.

And I would be more concerned with whether they can play than what their size is. If we had St. Louis, Whitney or Giroux would we care that we have a somewhat small forward group?

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01-27-2013, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
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.
To add to your point they were also without McQuaid and after Bergeron's injury which left him a shadow of himself it made made puck possession that much tougher.

The Bruin's are built on a sizable (weight and height) and extremely tough defense:
Quaider - 6'5 219lbs - Big, tough, mean and will throw down with anybody.
Boychuk - 6'2 225lbs - Big, tough, mean and will throw down.
Seids - 6'1 216lbs - Big, tough, mean and has thrown down when needed.
Chara - 6'9 255lbs - Big, big. big, really big and tough and mean and will fight anybody.
Hamilton - 6'5 193lbs - He's going to get even bigger! Big, not overly tough but he doesn't shy away from contact. Will throw the body around.
Ference - 5'11 189lbs - Mighty mouse compared to the rest of the D the B's have. Still one of the bigger hitters on the team, he's tough and has shown he is willing to drop with nearly anybody.

I can see why other teams in our division feel the need to get bigger on both ends of the rink.

As for our forwards group, I agree the B's need an upgrade on 3rd line LW but I'm not sold that it has to be someone with size. It just needs to be a hard nosed player that plays big and will go to the dirty areas of the ice. This player also needs some finish because both Pevs and Kelly are good playmakers. As much as it pains me to say it this team misses Michael Ryder and needs a tougher, better skating version of him.

Where's Jared Knight when you need him?

I wouldn't mind seeing Sauve given a look with the big club. But that's if he stays healthy.

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01-27-2013, 08:15 AM
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I agree, its about attitude....the Bruins have a gang mentality partly becasue they been together so long they have many deep friendships.

Also, you are as you think- and these guys or some of them think they are pretty tough and aint taking ****.

Scales are great to have and everyone should have one but I'll take Ronnie Lott over William 'the Refrigerator' Perry any draft day regardless of need and go from there

the Cherry Bruins were one high end defenseman from being almost my perfect team- they had Beauty and Beasts....same team, same position (RW) you could trot out Middleton or O'Reilly. They had Ratelle and Marcotte, but also Jonathan and Wensink. They had 'don't turn your back guys' like Cashman or Schmautz- both known to get an occassional high sticking penalty. And they had Park on D. That was the one area they needed to do better and they would have won a Cup or two.

I'm an advocate of all things equal to draft certain types like 'my guy,' Camara, MacDermid, Sobotaka, Marchand, Payne etc...Lucic of course is one of this generations homeruns with these types of players.

I like what Boston is doing, and you can't be 'cowboys' like the 70's and even pre LOCKOUT #1 but you can still play guys that can play this game if need be. Chara is the quintissential player and the first thing I think about when this comes up.

Its almost like a Rock Band- you have Chara and Lucic at the forefront, the guys most hockey fans associate with the Bruins image; it is backed up by supporting cast in Thornton, who imo is the best fighter of all of them, and can blend in conscious awareness to any fight- not easy and why all individuals fighting him should just go all Terry O'Reilly on this guy and make it a slugfest cause Thornton is a bit undersized. The beating and 'taking apart' of Boggard a few years ago was incredible- it would have made Hanibel Lectner applaud they way he tied Derek up took away his power and then systematically beat his ass. I had a nice view a few feet away and watched Derek struggle to no avail to get his arms loose- it was fly in the web stuff.

McQuaid also adds to this- and when Hockey fights and youtube shows you his epic beatdown of predatory punk Raffi Torres, or Lucic jaw shot to Carkner the other night it adds to the Bruins lore.

but to me guys that can body check- like the shot Paille took, or some of Seidenberg's, and certainly Boychuk over the years (he averaged 1 player knockout per Stanley Cup round it seemed- one way or another, it was even his deflected shot that I think got Stamkos in game 7 in the face and took him out for awhile)...Bergeron's rookie year he was a great shoulder guy- he hits less but still does, but he was fantastic that first year.

Give me a clean team that will take the body consistently and have enough artilary to be the favorites in any line brawl and I'm happy as a Cam


Last edited by DKH: 01-27-2013 at 08:22 AM.
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01-27-2013, 09:13 AM
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Bruins are a team United and will do anything they need to. When you see a Paille fight a Jovo or want to take on a Martin. Or a Ference go with Backes. Or when you cross a blueline and seidenberg and boychuk waiting. Then you have a Lucic flooring the other teams toughest guy. Bruins are intimidating.

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01-27-2013, 09:15 AM
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I do agree with the wear down factor. The Caps size was a major factor. Great point.

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01-27-2013, 09:25 AM
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I do agree with the wear down factor. The Caps size was a major factor. Great point.
I did not realize the Caps were that big.

The B's size is with their skilled players, who are on the ice in all
situations : 5 on 5, PP, and Shorthanded.

A lot of other teams size is one or two plugs that see 5 min a game.

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01-27-2013, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DKH View Post
I agree, its about attitude....the Bruins have a gang mentality partly becasue they been together so long they have many deep friendships.

Also, you are as you think- and these guys or some of them think they are pretty tough and aint taking ****.

Scales are great to have and everyone should have one but I'll take Ronnie Lott over William 'the Refrigerator' Perry any draft day regardless of need and go from there

the Cherry Bruins were one high end defenseman from being almost my perfect team- they had Beauty and Beasts....same team, same position (RW) you could trot out Middleton or O'Reilly. They had Ratelle and Marcotte, but also Jonathan and Wensink. They had 'don't turn your back guys' like Cashman or Schmautz- both known to get an occassional high sticking penalty. And they had Park on D. That was the one area they needed to do better and they would have won a Cup or two.

I'm an advocate of all things equal to draft certain types like 'my guy,' Camara, MacDermid, Sobotaka, Marchand, Payne etc...Lucic of course is one of this generations homeruns with these types of players.

I like what Boston is doing, and you can't be 'cowboys' like the 70's and even pre LOCKOUT #1 but you can still play guys that can play this game if need be. Chara is the quintissential player and the first thing I think about when this comes up.

Its almost like a Rock Band- you have Chara and Lucic at the forefront, the guys most hockey fans associate with the Bruins image; it is backed up by supporting cast in Thornton, who imo is the best fighter of all of them, and can blend in conscious awareness to any fight- not easy and why all individuals fighting him should just go all Terry O'Reilly on this guy and make it a slugfest cause Thornton is a bit undersized. The beating and 'taking apart' of Boggard a few years ago was incredible- it would have made Hanibel Lectner applaud they way he tied Derek up took away his power and then systematically beat his ass. I had a nice view a few feet away and watched Derek struggle to no avail to get his arms loose- it was fly in the web stuff.

McQuaid also adds to this- and when Hockey fights and youtube shows you his epic beatdown of predatory punk Raffi Torres, or Lucic jaw shot to Carkner the other night it adds to the Bruins lore.

but to me guys that can body check- like the shot Paille took, or some of Seidenberg's, and certainly Boychuk over the years (he averaged 1 player knockout per Stanley Cup round it seemed- one way or another, it was even his deflected shot that I think got Stamkos in game 7 in the face and took him out for awhile)...Bergeron's rookie year he was a great shoulder guy- he hits less but still does, but he was fantastic that first year.

Give me a clean team that will take the body consistently and have enough artilary to be the favorites in any line brawl and I'm happy as a Cam

DKH at is best... love it.

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01-27-2013, 10:16 AM
  #14
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Nice post Colt, a couple points...

Regardless of how the B's actually stack up in terms of size, they are still the most intimidating team in the NHL. Bar none. So it may be a myth that they're big but it's not a myth that they're bad(ass).

That said, I do agree that they need more size. I think size and strong board play are incredibly important in the playoffs and the last 3 Cup champs were all outstanding at grinding it out down low in the Ozone, not to mention countless other teams who advanced (like your Washington example).

I think it's too early to pull the plug on Bourque's audition, but I haven't been a believer in him sticking (from the beginning) for the reasons outlined above. I just don't think a player like that is what this team or that line needs. I'd love to be proven wrong, it's clear the whole organization is pulling for Ray's kid, but through 4 games Bourque has no goals, no points, no shots and a team-worst -3. Peverley and Kelly only have a point each.

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01-27-2013, 10:36 AM
  #15
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Quality thread. 1st post should be framed as an example of how to question a common assumption without denying that the assumption does to some extent reflect something real.

It's easy to forget that three seasons ago, we were pulling out our hair and gnashing our teeth over the tepid response to the hit on Savvy. In the aftermath, however, the team mentality did change.

IMO the myth gained a lot of steam from the 2011 playoffs, and the way our road to the Cup broke. Mtl, Tampa and Van definitely helped to make the B's look as Big and Bad as the myth would have it. The Caps last year however, not so much...

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01-27-2013, 10:40 AM
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How big were they in 2011?

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01-27-2013, 10:44 AM
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I think one of the more interesting things about the NHL is that in this age of people condemning sports for "violence", this league tends to embrace its historic frontier attitude (eye for eye/protect your own/we are the law) approach.

Broad Street Bullies and Big Bad Bruins harken back to imagery of chaos and cool that just doesn't happen today. Lets face, most fans love it.

That said, I think the "myth" of the BBB is because what Colt stated so clearly, the Bruins have three of the toughest fighters and two of the hardest hitters in the NHL. Chara, Looch, and Thornton intimidate the heck out of most NHLers at the very least after the whistle. The Bruins usually get alot of room to operate etc. There are only a few teams than will hang in there and "poke" the bear.

While there are a select few that go after Looch and Thornton, no one and I mean no one goes after Chara, most nights the Bruins get crickets when the challenge they other teams players that are trying to bring it. The Rangers come to mind here. Girardi always has a stupid look on his face when Looch gets riled up, tough team the Rangers? With out Rupp and Asham they would be toothless and neither of those guys can play a lick. So in essence, these are the streamlined BBB for the 21st century. Skilled guys that rate in the top 10-15 fighters of the NHL.

Are these teams as tough top to bottom as they used to be, heck no, but lets face it, no one wants a 5-5 brawl with the Bruins top D pair and 1st line one the ice.

There are some teams that minus Chara stack up pretty good with the Bruins in the jam/skill department and chief among them is Pittsburgh. Engelland and Neil can each play a bit and can scrap when needed.

Players like Lucic and Chara are just so damned hard to come by and lets face it the Bruins wandered the wilderness of the NHL from 95 to 2009 trying to find guys like this to strike the spark again.

We should enjoy this time even more as we contemplate their blend of skill, determination, and toughness and understand more than most what hockey life is without it.

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01-27-2013, 10:58 AM
  #18
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My thoughts on Colt's options...

1) Caron- I said b4 the season that I thought Bourque would be given every opportunity, but that the job would eventually fall to Caron. It's a shame Caron hasn't been able to play with energy consistently, but I still think he'll get his chance- and I'm pulling for him because I think that he can be a good player. There were a couple weeks there last season where he was the player he was supposed to be and it was impressive. Plus, I think the B's need that role to be filled by someone making short money.

2) Sauve's healthy again and playing well. He followed up his hat trick in the Black/White game with a goal and two assists in two P-Bruin games. If he doesn't get injured again he could get the next call-up. He doesn't bring that strong board game I'd like to see (he's only 184lbs), but like Bourque, if he started scoring then you'd be more willing to look the other way, with regards to board play.

Another option in Providence is Jamie Tardif. Yes, he's a career minor leaguer, but he's also 205lbs, excels in the dirty areas and is scoring at a 40 goal pace.

3) That 4th line has been so effective early on and I'd be hesitant to break them up, but Paille does seem to be playing with a lot of confidence early on and probably deserves a shot. However, instead of MacDermid I'd actually call up Bobby Robbins. He may not be as fast as Paille, but he has a higher motor than MacD and he's got plenty of size at 220lbs.

4) Trade for big-bodied forward: Tough to do IMO. Anyone legitimately good is going to cost enough in trade that you'll want to re-sign them, but they can't sign another $3-4m forward given their cap situation. That's why I wanted to see them sign Arnott, Knuble, etc... They may be washed up but at least you could find out for just money. Now, they may have to trade for a guy like Dustin Penner or Brendan Morrow and hope they can turn things around. (Fwiw, I haven't seen either this year but they are getting killed on their team's boards.)

5) Wait for DKH's boy, Knight, who can make some hits...
IMO, Jared Knight won't be in the NHL until the 2014-15 season. It's not a knock on Jared. I said that [he would need some time in the A] two years ago when everyone said he was going to make the team over Pouliot, I said it last summer, and I'll be saying it again next summer. Most players need time to adjust to the pro game. Pro speed. Pro strength. I know Jared is strong but I'd like to see him get 40+ productive games against professional defenseman to learn those all important adjustments. Marchand, Krejci, Versteeg, etc. all spent two years in the AHL and are better players for it. Let him adjust, let him get confident, then bring him up. It'll be worth the wait.

6) Call up Camara on emergency basis for the rest of the year
See point 5. Hamilton, Seguin, Bergeron, even Lucic are rare players in this league.



At the end of the day, I think they'll give Bourque 6 more games. Then look at other options in Providence (Sauve, Caron, Tardif, Robbins) and maybe kick the tires on the bargain bin at the trade deadline, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with someone.


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01-27-2013, 11:28 AM
  #19
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Trading for joe thornton wouldnt put us any closer to big and bad. Size isnt a factor at all when it comes to the team mentality

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01-27-2013, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by KnightofBoston View Post
It's about the attitude

Pretty much everyone, even Seguin, will throw down if necessary. Not only that but they thrive in it
this ^

The Bruins play bigger than their actual size would suggest is possible. And that is what makes them big & bad

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01-27-2013, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNHL View Post
How big were they in 2011?
More importantly how big were the teams they played? MON-TB-VAN were and are three of the most finesse teams in the NHL.

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01-27-2013, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by WhamBamCam8 View Post
More importantly how big were the teams they played? MON-TB-VAN were and are three of the most finesse teams in the NHL.
Yeah, but Philly wasn't, and they are the only one they swept!

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01-27-2013, 12:21 PM
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Yeah, but Philly wasn't, and they are the only one they swept!
Philly was a house divided and after game 2 they checked out.

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01-27-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ladd View Post

3) That 4th line has been so effective early on and I'd be hesitant to break them up, but Paille does seem to be playing with a lot of confidence early on and probably deserves a shot. However, instead of MacDermid I'd actually call up Bobby Robbins. He may not be as fast as Paille, but he has a higher motor than MacD and he's got plenty of size at 220lbs.
I thought Robbins was only signed to an AHL contract.

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01-27-2013, 12:35 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by Spoked-B View Post
Yeah, but Philly wasn't, and they are the only one they swept!
Without Pronger (who only played in game one, IIRC), most of Philly's "Big and Bad"ness was missing. What was left was a demoralized team with a sieve at the back.

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