In October, head coach Claude Julien stated that the Bruins would be a better playoff than regular season team this year. Let’s hope he’s right. It’s not so much that the Bruins have played poor hockey; currently 5th in the East; but perhaps they finally have been overcome with key injuries – Bergeron, Ference, Lucic and now Savard.
Milan Lucic did return last night against Chicago,but from my seat in section 309, he looked labored and lost out there. On many occasions he was unable to join the rush and often struggled to make it to the bench. I was disheartened to see that he had no interest in the physical game last night; it’s not as though that could be attributed to “rust” since there’s no real skill involved. This showed me that his ankle is still in rough shape. I was left wondering why he came back at all, but I guess his services, however limited, are needed. I still expect him to play tomorrow, but only due to the rash of other injuries on the team.
After losing Savard last night, Boston was still able to get the jump on the NHL leading Blackhawks, but by the end of the period Chicago’s incredible skill became apparent and they completely turned the tables on the Black and Gold. Chicago reminded me a lot of last year’s Bruins team during their remarkable December; fast, physical, impossible to move off the puck and extremely opportunistic. They can really bring it.
As of right now, and notion of a Stanley Cup in Boston hardly bears mentioning and will remain so until the Bruins can show a sustained effort for a 15 or so game stretch at some point. Perhaps that point will never come. Boston will make the playoffs and with (fingers crossed) everyone healthy, perhaps, perhaps they can prove their coach right and make a run into early June. As of right now, all I have to look forward to is next year’s number draft pick, which currently sits at No. 3. Oh, and by the way, is anyone surprised that Phil Kessel has been called out up in Toronto for not playing hard enough? Anyone with a brain could have seen that one coming.