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The Misguided Myth of the Modern Big Bad Bruins

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Old
01-27-2013, 11:44 AM
  #26
Mike B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ladd View Post
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.
I'm still a big believer in Caron. His AHL production this year has been a disappointment, but I think he is the type of player who will do better in the tighter confines of the NHL than in the wide open spaces of the AHL. I think he can be a nice fit with Kelly and Peverley, since they will complement his lack of speed. I don't have huge offensive expectations, but I do think he will be good for 15 goals or so - about what Kelly produces and what they got from Pouliot last year.

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01-27-2013, 11:53 AM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ladd View Post
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.
Well said, Bill.

The only real problem I see on this team right now is the 3rd line ... That is the only area where I'd be concerned if I'm Chiarelli and Julien. I think that if they can't get it going soon, we're going to see Bourque's spot become a revolving door until someone starts lighting the lamp. My first callup would be Sauve (while he's healthy), followed by Tardif, followed by Caron if it comes to that. As far as I'm concerned, that spot is open to anyone to can make something happen there, which thus far, Bourque has been unable to do. I don't rotate Paille out of the 4th line or mess with that line at all ... They are far and away the best 4th line in the league. What the 3rd line needs is someone who can put some points on the board. My pick for next up at-bat is Sauve.

Size doesn't bother me so much ... It's all attitude and the Bruins run with a pack-mentality, and that makes them the toughest team in the league regardless of size, IMO. They don't back down from anyone, and when other teams step up, that's when this team plays it's best hockey.

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Old
01-27-2013, 12:01 PM
  #28
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Boston won the Cup, Washington didn't. Washington beat Boston last year, but it took them overtime of Game 7 to do it. Then they got eliminated in the next round.

Boston's 3-0-1 right now. Washington's 0-3-1 and their top scorer is 177 lb. Mike Ribeiro.

If there's a point to this discussion, I'm certainly missing it.

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01-27-2013, 12:05 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HortonHearsAWoo View Post
Boston won the Cup, Washington didn't. Washington beat Boston last year, but it took them overtime of Game 7 to do it. Then they got eliminated in the next round.

Boston's 3-0-1 right now. Washington's 0-3-1 and their top scorer is 177 lb. Mike Ribeiro.

If there's a point to this discussion, I'm certainly missing it.
There is a point but you obviously missed it.

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Old
01-27-2013, 12:06 PM
  #30
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Mostly quality responses here; nice to have a great thread to read.

Look folks, I grew up playing hockey learning from one of the top 5 toughest pound-4-pound players in NHL history, Dody Wood (who topped out at 180pds) so you will never have to convince me that it isn't about the size of the fight in the dog *HOWEVER* there is also the old saying that "you can't teach size" and that rings extremely true with me. It is nice to have a 6'4 guy that can shield the puck, can win those extra board battles, can stand in front of the net and make the D work hard to move him.... and, of course, can put physical pressure on the opponents D over a 7 game series.

Again, I love S. Thornton and was actually on here begging to sign him when he was with Anaheim HOWEVER he brings little-to-no physical body-checking game whatsoever (not from a lack of effort, but he is not a natural hitter and is careful/paranoid not to take penalties).

Who did we have to wear down the big boys on the back-end like Alzner or Carlson? If you were aware of when Lucic was on the ice then none of their big D had to give a second thought as to who was going to paste them into the glass.

If you disagree with me, please tell me what other forward the B's had in that series that would have made the big Caps D think twice (and maybe bobble the puck) because they knew they were going to get taken into the boards hard? Maaaaybe Pouliot. Paille and Campbell are good middleweight hitters, but didn't do anything against the Caps much bigger 4th line that brought a LOT more energy/hitting than did ours.

Meanwhile, our D (in that series) constantly seemed to be put into the glass (Brouwer was a beast, so was Hendricks, Ward was immovable etc, etc) and, in the end, they won a series that they had no business taking. The Kings forwards were much the same size as Washington last year so we would have run into the same problems there anyway.

People get down on Lucic for his past playoff performances but the playoffs are a huge physical battle and it he is our main warrior up front... it would be nice if there were some more guys to pull their weight.

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Old
01-27-2013, 12:07 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HortonHearsAWoo View Post
Boston won the Cup, Washington didn't. Washington beat Boston last year, but it took them overtime of Game 7 to do it. Then they got eliminated in the next round.

Boston's 3-0-1 right now. Washington's 0-3-1 and their top scorer is 177 lb. Mike Ribeiro.

If there's a point to this discussion, I'm certainly missing it.
Yup, you are. Feel free to move along now.

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Old
01-27-2013, 12:09 PM
  #32
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I'm not worried about the third line... yet.

As happy as we are with certain things and as hesitant as we are about others, we ARE only four games in. I remember Peverley and Kelly taking a month or so to get going when they first came to town. I seem to recall many other instances where lines that have disappointed us in the first month of the season ended up being among the team's strengths by the middle of the schedule.

For all the talk of who NEEDS to step it up, or what NEEDS to change, the Bruins have taken 7 of 8 thus far. Tells me that none of these things NEED to happen - not yet. We're not going to have the most well-oiled machine this early. And while we don't have the luxury of being too patient either, four games is still too early to be too concerned or too elated.

As for the "myth"... Not a chance. While the team may be smaller as a whole, there's not a tougher team in the NHL. To the point where every single one of us fans WANT teams to come out and attempt to intimidate the B's. "Poking the Bear" we call it. If clubs want to play that size game with us, that only works to the Bruins' advantage. That's all I really need to know about how legit the "Big Bad Bruins" identity is in respect to this roster.

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01-27-2013, 12:14 PM
  #33
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Size doesn't matter to me. It's all about the players bringing their A-games in the playoffs and our big guns didn't deliver last year.

We could have had 4 Lucic clones last year and still lost because he played like a passenger most of the WSH series.

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01-27-2013, 12:16 PM
  #34
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Oops, forgot to post this:

http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/01/20...t-and-age.html

Again, I'm not attacking the team that I love so I don't know why some people are getting defensive. I'm not calling for full-scale changes. I'm just pointing out that

a) We are certainly far from the biggest team in the league (the average Shark weighs almost 11pds-per-player more than us).
b) It would be nice to pick up some size on the extremely small LW.

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01-27-2013, 12:17 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt.45Orr View Post
People get down on Lucic for his past playoff performances but the playoffs are a huge physical battle and it he is our main warrior up front... it would be nice if there were some more guys to pull their weight.
Was tempted to quote your entire post; really lays out the issue well. I also don't think we can overestimate the impact of lessened toughness on the first line. Post-concussion Horton just won't have the same edge as before. That first line posed a double physical threat through most of the 2011 playoffs; I really don't think that will continue to be the case --not through any fault of Horton's; hell, I don't want to see him dropping the gloves.

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01-27-2013, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bone for your jar View Post
Was tempted to quote your entire post; really lays out the issue well. I also don't think we can overestimate the impact of lessened toughness on the first line. Post-concussion Horton just won't have the same edge as before. That first line posed a double physical threat through most of the 2011 playoffs; I really don't think that will continue to be the case --not through any fault of Horton's; hell, I don't want to see him dropping the gloves.
Agreed 100%

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Old
01-27-2013, 12:27 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt.45Orr View Post
Oops, forgot to post this:

http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/01/20...t-and-age.html

Again, I'm not attacking the team that I love so I don't know why some people are getting defensive. I'm not calling for full-scale changes. I'm just pointing out that

a) We are certainly far from the biggest team in the league (the average Shark weighs almost 11pds-per-player more than us).
b) It would be nice to pick up some size on the extremely small LW.
And I don't think anyone is arguing, or can argue with that ...

I don't think there's anyone here who wouldn't love to see the team get bigger, but realistically, how does it happen right now? I don't see how signing guys like Knuble and Arnott make us any better, and I'm certain that addition by subtraction via trade(s) isn't worth dismantling a winning team at this stage.

Chiarelli loves him some big, thick bodies... This is no secret and is well documented. I'm sure that when the time is right and he can get a bigger body who will improve the team without throwing the current group out of whack, he will do so.

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01-27-2013, 01:05 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler SeQuin View Post
And I don't think anyone is arguing, or can argue with that ...

I don't think there's anyone here who wouldn't love to see the team get bigger, but realistically, how does it happen right now? I don't see how signing guys like Knuble and Arnott make us any better, and I'm certain that addition by subtraction via trade(s) isn't worth dismantling a winning team at this stage.

Chiarelli loves him some big, thick bodies... This is no secret and is well documented. I'm sure that when the time is right and he can get a bigger body who will improve the team without throwing the current group out of whack, he will do so.
size usually wins out but looking out at practice today, I was suprised that Marchand is noticeably taller than Bourque

Chiarelli drafted players and wants them to succeed; fans overall could care less but the Bruins have put a lot of time and money into their development system and they'd much X infinity get a player that way

my favorite part of practice was watching the zamboni chase about a half dozen Bruins off the ice who didn't seem to be ready anytime soon ans a bunch of kids waited for their game....Dougie has cleanup puck duty and I wondered if he took to much time he ends up being run over....it was pretty interesting to watch the players after pracitce, they showed more likeness to a bunch of goofy teenagers than a supposed Stanley Cup contender and that was outstanding to watch

MacDermid and Pandolfo wore the green today so I'd reckon they get a shot before any callups like Caron if this was the wing

I have seen MacDermid since he arrived and continues to improve his skating- he was even doing drills in this area at the end of practice; he seems quite accepted by the boys which is good to see. I am not sure he has third line skill but he regularly killed penalties down there and his hockey sense seems fine if not pretty good

no McQuaid at practice either and considering yesterday was a day off this should be concerning- maybe we see another undersized player in Warsofsky or Krug (who had quite a weekend) come up. I'd much rather reward guys and stay in the organization than go look for this era's version of Jim Weimer

oh, and Lucic took a Seguin bomb off the right foot and went down like a stone, after saying some unpleasantry I believe to Khudobin about how that part of his body felt he stayed out there and seemed fine although he did give the foot a few second and third looks over the next 5 minutes- Seguin later came up and had him in a one armed hug likely about the shot and they both laughed

Lucic is known for his fists but his hands and passing are quality- he is closer to elite than slug in this part of the game


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Old
01-27-2013, 01:48 PM
  #39
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We've been "undersized" up front for a long time. The only concern I have is the 3rd line. I would like to see Chiarelli add a big winger to replace Bourque.

We did not, in my opinion, lose to Washington because of our size. There were so many factors.

- Bergy was hurt. He was playing essentially with one arm. That and Beagle's constant cheating on faceoffs took a major strength of the team away.

- Tyler Seguin was snake bitten. The guy could not buy one, despite getting numerous chances.

- Holtby played the best hockey he will ever play. Aided by us CONSTANTLY hitting him in the ****ing logo.

- The officiating was rubbish. I loathe blaming officials but the Capitals hooked and interfered more than any team I've seen post lockout.

- The team was tired. Even if we beat the Caps I did not see the team going further.

We got to game 7, overtime.

Like I said, I'm not worried about our size up front.....yet.

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01-27-2013, 02:04 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt.45Orr View Post
Oops, forgot to post this:

http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/01/20...t-and-age.html

Again, I'm not attacking the team that I love so I don't know why some people are getting defensive. I'm not calling for full-scale changes. I'm just pointing out that

a) We are certainly far from the biggest team in the league (the average Shark weighs almost 11pds-per-player more than us).
b) It would be nice to pick up some size on the extremely small LW.
A) Correct
B) Yes it would.

I don't think many people are defensive they just disagree with your overall assessment that we need more size for a long playoff run. We weren't much different in our cup run. The 1st list I found on google showed us being smaller than every team we played including Montreal. I think the issue is far down the list of problems to address as it was in the Washington series. Injuries were the biggest problem, and yes 2 of those were to big players.

If you had just made it about the myth that we are bigger than other teams and showed the numbers, then many would have agreed but still pointed out some problems with that assessment. You made it sound like size is the major issue and also brought toughness into the equation by saying myth of the Big Bad Bruins. Some agree and some don't.

Do we know where Mirtle got his numbers? Are they accurate? Does he include goalies? Does he include no talent plugs who won't see the ice in the playoffs?

Let's take San Jose for example. Their goalies weigh 53 lbs more than ours on NHL.com. More than that on other sites. His list was from Jan. 18th so he had McLaren instead of Gomez. That is another 32 lbs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you are talking about goalies at all. I know I don't care if someone else has a goalie that weighs 50 lbs more than Rask. The biggest team in the league could be down to only 6 or 7 lbs more than our skaters. Our smallest guy is the one most likely to not be playing in the playoffs. I don't think there is a person on the board who doesn't want an upgrade on Bourque in both size & scoring. For me the scoring part is much more important than size.

San Jose is in the West anyway. I'll worry about that when we see who makes the finals, if we get there. In the east there are only 5 teams with more than a 5 lb lead. Some, possibly none will make the playoffs. If you take out goalies and plugs who will barely play I bet we are right there with everyone. I'm not worried about a couple lbs. We are certainly one of the toughest teams.

I'm more worried about health, goaltending, PK, PP, scoring from 3rd line LW, and whether our top 6 scores like 2011 or last year. Size is one issue and I would say a very small one. I think we have the advantage over most teams even if the weight numbers don't show that.

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01-27-2013, 02:16 PM
  #41
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We did not, in my opinion, lose to Washington because of our size. There were so many factors.
The factors you list played a role, no doubt, but my biggest gripe throughout the series was lack of net-front presence and yes, I think size had to do with it. The absence of Horton on the first line was critical. Looch, the remaining big body, was usually tied up in the corners, nowhere near the slot, never mind the crease.

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01-27-2013, 02:27 PM
  #42
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Terrific thread idea and very well-written.

I'm a Habs fan who's been watching the game since the late 60s and from what I've seen, toughness as a team identity is about 85% perception and 15% reality. In other words, toughness is most effective when it's used as a deterrent that remains holstered, used pretty rarely during the actual game.

The Flyers used it plenty in the 70s. In fact, they went nuclear and managed to bomb the hell out of everyone, but once the league and the rules adapted, so did Philly.

Boston is one of the teams that still identify with the 'big & tough' label, but from my POV your recent Cup was won with less-intimidating guys like Recchi, Thomas and Bergeron leading the way. Even Chara, while obviously a huge presence, wasn't at all dirty throughout the playoffs. Effective? Hell yeah. Intimidating? Not really. As others in this thread have said -- if intimidation was such a big factor, why was Boston's toughest series against less-physical Montreal and Tampa? Boston won thanks to scoring depth, a strong defensive system and great goaltending. Fighting and intimidation? Not so much, IMO.

And I don't think you guys lost last year because you were out-muscled. Washington played a great defensive system and gummed up the middle, keeping you from setting up. Holtby was hot, too. Playoffs are about matchups, and Boston didn't match up well against last year's hybrid version of the Caps.

And now most teams have some intimidation in their roster. The league's overall toughness has achieved a kind of parity where everyone has their tough guy as a deterrent to everyone else's tough guy. I don't think any team will lose games because they were intimidated or out-fought. That's not to say you should dump the 'Big-Bad Bruin' thing. It is your team's thing. But I question how much that identity is responsible for winning games. As a Habs fan, I get hives every time some Quebec farmer proclaims he wants to stock the roster with french players. Is that Montreal's identity? A few people still think so. Does it help us win games? Please...

Besides, I like the idea of Boston keeping its bad-ass rep whether or not it quantifies in the win column, because it keeps the rivalry between our two teams alive and well. Please don't allow likeable players like Bergeron, Seguin and Rask to become your identity, because it would become much harder to hate the Bruins, which would fly against fundamental physics. We can't have that.

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01-27-2013, 02:34 PM
  #43
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is there an established correlation between size and winning

one of the nice things about the last thread was that we learned that when shawn thornton fights, there's a statistically significant, although small, correlation with increased wins

i haven't seen any assertion that size is the dimension that maximizes wins

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01-27-2013, 02:54 PM
  #44
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Weight and height is irrelevant, teams go WWE sometimes on players weight and height.

I am not sure if the Bruins need a bigger forward and I think we are under selling our size. Bergeron isn’t what I would call ‘small’; NHL.com has him listed at 6’2 194. While listed less than 200lbs, you rarely see Bergeron get out muscled or out worked. There is no point in being big and over 200lbs if you lose puck battles and don’t work hard (Blake Wheeler as a Bruin).

Now, that’s not to say I wouldn’t want a huge forward, picture Ryan Getzlaf as a Bruin (Lucic – Getzlaf – Horton). But getting bigger is irrelevant to me, if we can add size and skill together that fits with this team, I am all for it.

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01-27-2013, 03:37 PM
  #45
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Weight and height is irrelevant, teams go WWE sometimes on players weight and height.

I am not sure if the Bruins need a bigger forward and I think we are under selling our size. Bergeron isn’t what I would call ‘small’; NHL.com has him listed at 6’2 194. While listed less than 200lbs, you rarely see Bergeron get out muscled or out worked. There is no point in being big and over 200lbs if you lose puck battles and don’t work hard (Blake Wheeler as a Bruin).

Now, that’s not to say I wouldn’t want a huge forward, picture Ryan Getzlaf as a Bruin (Lucic – Getzlaf – Horton). But getting bigger is irrelevant to me, if we can add size and skill together that fits with this team, I am all for it.
Absolutely agree.

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01-27-2013, 04:26 PM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HortonHearsAWoo View Post
Boston won the Cup, Washington didn't. Washington beat Boston last year, but it took them overtime of Game 7 to do it. Then they got eliminated in the next round.

Boston's 3-0-1 right now. Washington's 0-3-1 and their top scorer is 177 lb. Mike Ribeiro.

If there's a point to this discussion, I'm certainly missing it.
there is definitely a point, this is a great thread topic. the size of our forwards is something that has concerned me. last year when Horton went down it became obvious that this team isn't that big up front. losing one of Horton or Lucic makes us small.

i agree with Colt that the place to address this is the third line LW spot. it is the only reasonable position to upgrade considering we have proven players at every other spot. i don't want to pile on Bourque but i just don't see him as being a fit for a full year up here. i would like to see Caron get a shot but the guy i really would love to see the Bruins trade for is Glencross. he's big, a good skater, gritty and a very good penalty killer. he puts up points too and is on a bargain of a contract. if the flames finally decide to blow it up i think Glencross would be a more realistic option then Iginla.

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01-27-2013, 04:39 PM
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I'm not sure its your size that counts, but how much of your size you use.

I'll take a 6'1 seidenberg over a 6'5 wheeler every day

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01-27-2013, 04:48 PM
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Lshap,

Didn't quote you, but thanks for the fantastic contribution to the thread --even if you are a Habs fan you should feel free to post on the B's board any time.

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01-27-2013, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
Terrific thread idea and very well-written.

I'm a Habs fan who's been watching the game since the late 60s and from what I've seen, toughness as a team identity is about 85% perception and 15% reality. In other words, toughness is most effective when it's used as a deterrent that remains holstered, used pretty rarely during the actual game.

The Flyers used it plenty in the 70s. In fact, they went nuclear and managed to bomb the hell out of everyone, but once the league and the rules adapted, so did Philly.

Boston is one of the teams that still identify with the 'big & tough' label, but from my POV your recent Cup was won with less-intimidating guys like Recchi, Thomas and Bergeron leading the way. Even Chara, while obviously a huge presence, wasn't at all dirty throughout the playoffs. Effective? Hell yeah. Intimidating? Not really. As others in this thread have said -- if intimidation was such a big factor, why was Boston's toughest series against less-physical Montreal and Tampa? Boston won thanks to scoring depth, a strong defensive system and great goaltending. Fighting and intimidation? Not so much, IMO.

And I don't think you guys lost last year because you were out-muscled. Washington played a great defensive system and gummed up the middle, keeping you from setting up. Holtby was hot, too. Playoffs are about matchups, and Boston didn't match up well against last year's hybrid version of the Caps.

And now most teams have some intimidation in their roster. The league's overall toughness has achieved a kind of parity where everyone has their tough guy as a deterrent to everyone else's tough guy. I don't think any team will lose games because they were intimidated or out-fought. That's not to say you should dump the 'Big-Bad Bruin' thing. It is your team's thing. But I question how much that identity is responsible for winning games. As a Habs fan, I get hives every time some Quebec farmer proclaims he wants to stock the roster with french players. Is that Montreal's identity? A few people still think so. Does it help us win games? Please...

Besides, I like the idea of Boston keeping its bad-ass rep whether or not it quantifies in the win column, because it keeps the rivalry between our two teams alive and well. Please don't allow likeable players like Bergeron, Seguin and Rask to become your identity, because it would become much harder to hate the Bruins, which would fly against fundamental physics. We can't have that.
Well said.

I agree w/ Colt's overall premise. Although when it comes to big and bad, we do possess some of the biggest and baddest. I agree w/ some of what you said, however, there was the finals. In the end I feel the Nucks were indeed intimidated physically. Not in the sense they were afraid the gloves were going to drop. More in the sense they knew what was coming every time they retrieved a puck in their end. Or, hung on too long in the offensive zone while on Chara's radar. They eventually wore down.

The B's had to learn and develop that intimidating identity through some pretty painful events. Not to quote Grapes, but he had it right last night when he said, "teams like Toronto grow an extra foot", in regard to watching Brown and Orr lay waste to two Rags players.

You're right, I laugh when I heard a lot of habs and nucks fans say, "Yeah, the Bruins won b/c they gooned it up, played dirty, etc etc".

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01-27-2013, 05:21 PM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
Terrific thread idea and very well-written.

I'm a Habs fan who's been watching the game since the late 60s and from what I've seen, toughness as a team identity is about 85% perception and 15% reality. In other words, toughness is most effective when it's used as a deterrent that remains holstered, used pretty rarely during the actual game.

The Flyers used it plenty in the 70s. In fact, they went nuclear and managed to bomb the hell out of everyone, but once the league and the rules adapted, so did Philly.

Boston is one of the teams that still identify with the 'big & tough' label, but from my POV your recent Cup was won with less-intimidating guys like Recchi, Thomas and Bergeron leading the way. Even Chara, while obviously a huge presence, wasn't at all dirty throughout the playoffs. Effective? Hell yeah. Intimidating? Not really. As others in this thread have said -- if intimidation was such a big factor, why was Boston's toughest series against less-physical Montreal and Tampa? Boston won thanks to scoring depth, a strong defensive system and great goaltending. Fighting and intimidation? Not so much, IMO.

And I don't think you guys lost last year because you were out-muscled. Washington played a great defensive system and gummed up the middle, keeping you from setting up. Holtby was hot, too. Playoffs are about matchups, and Boston didn't match up well against last year's hybrid version of the Caps.

And now most teams have some intimidation in their roster. The league's overall toughness has achieved a kind of parity where everyone has their tough guy as a deterrent to everyone else's tough guy. I don't think any team will lose games because they were intimidated or out-fought. That's not to say you should dump the 'Big-Bad Bruin' thing. It is your team's thing. But I question how much that identity is responsible for winning games. As a Habs fan, I get hives every time some Quebec farmer proclaims he wants to stock the roster with french players. Is that Montreal's identity? A few people still think so. Does it help us win games? Please...

Besides, I like the idea of Boston keeping its bad-ass rep whether or not it quantifies in the win column, because it keeps the rivalry between our two teams alive and well. Please don't allow likeable players like Bergeron, Seguin and Rask to become your identity, because it would become much harder to hate the Bruins, which would fly against fundamental physics. We can't have that.
great post

I think Boston will have a bad ass element because the President and even the GM know it sells and it wins or it wins and it sells.

The ideal situation is usually balance- for every Rick Middleton, Boston would have Terry O'Reilly, for every Tyler Seguin, you now have Milan Lucic.

One thing on Lucic. The single most telling moment to me of his Bruins careeer was his smug 'get over it' with a touch of bewilderment answering his question of the Miller hit. It was not what I expected but I liked it in this age of hockey.

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