Its apparent this team often plays the way many of us feel the first 15 minutes after waking up each day- atleast me. From reading the posts, the columnists, listening to friends, knowing what fans want, and how to please Jacobs salary wise- it would not be a bad idea if the Broons thought long and hard about going out and getting a few players along the lines of Dave Scatchard, Mark Bell, Ethan Moreau or Aaron Ashem. Moreau and Ashem specifically. I expect the 'these guys are our heart and soul guys' but they can be had without gutting your team. Marty Lapointe was and still is that type of player but due to his salary has to feel its necessary to think about points to justify those checks he cashes every 2 weeks which is too bad. I'd love a 15 goal 25 assist 100 pims and edgy Marty.
If I ran this team I'd be more than happy to have these 4 skilled forwards next year on my first two lines- Samsonov-Thornton and Rolston-Bergeron and then fill out with some in the trenches guys. I'd try and resign Knuble who imo is less offensively skilled than Murray but still a good player and better in the corners and causing havoc infront of the net. I'd have Lapointe back because this is and should be his game and I like what Axelsson brings. But I'd try and add a player like Ashem and Moreau or some player from that litter who plays with an edge. This team has imo enough skill but needs some in your face MF attitude that is nonexistent to many nights. These players may be a bit difficult to uproot right now but in the offseason when teams are looking for meat and potatoes to add and concern about payroll these type of character additions can be added to a core of top end talent that few teams have.
As far as the defense goes- I hope J Girard can make a miraculous comback because the team needs a guy like this back here- although I'd certainly do a Tom Poti-Gill deal because I believe Poti is not only a perfect fit for what this team needs but would benefit being back in the area and near home.
I agree about the type of player that you are talking about. I just can't understand why the B's can't/don't play with more edge and emotion. Is it that they really don't play that way or is it that we just see them too often and are somewhat blinded by homerism?
As an example, when I watch a B's - Leafs game, by the 10 minute mark of the first period, I renew my hatred for Darcy Tucker - simply because of the look on his face. Do fans of other teams feel the same way about Green, Lapointe or Boynton? And if so, do those 3 and maybe Knuble, McCarthy and/or Doull, give us enough of that type of play/effect?
We all know that every team has softies, bullies, disturbers, skill players, gritty players etc. Is the problem with the Bruins the fact that they have the wrong combination of players? Are there too many soft players (I think so, but what do I know?), too many emotionless, secure, complacent veterans? Too many inexperienced players? Not enough warrior-types? Hopefully we'll know relatively soon.
It's the coach's responsibility to have his team prepared physically and mentally to play at their best when the puck is dropped. If Sullivan doesn't figure out how to do that then he'll be in danger of losing his job.
Although I understand professional sports are some of the most physically and emotionally demanding "jobs" out there, one must keep things in perspective - we are talking about 20 minutes a night where these guys are expected to give it their all.
There is no excuse in my book for either the coach not getting his players to give it their all for these 20 minutes, or having some of the "leaders" on the team not calling out guys on the bench when they aren't giving it their all. (and conversely providing positive input when they go at it in the right way.)
I have no idea about Sullivan so won't get into wild speculation on him however it has become apparent that we don't bring it to the table every night and that won't do.
As for the solutions to the problem, let's see over the next few days.