Trade Wrap

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By the numbers, yesterday was one of the busier trade deadline days in recent memory. A multitude of players switched teams. Draft picks were flitting about the league like waterbugs. A lot went down as I can attest to, having attempted to catalogue it all in one post yesterday, replete with links. My brain is still cramped up a bit. I may need to wrap a heating pad around my head.

Still, there was a lack of real impact deals. It seemed like far more minor leaguers switched teams than NHL guys. There was nothing really sexy that went down, some former superstar with Cup credentials going to a contender for one last kick at the can. Welcome to the Salary Cap Age, I guess.

Your opinion on what the Boston Bruins did at the deadline might vary depending on your sense of optimism, I think. If you are of a mind that there’s no way a team that has showed such lacklustre effort of late and such scoring deficiencies all year can reasonably hope to compete against Washington, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, then you might think what the B’s did was smart. Hold on to young players and picks and build from the ground up. Write this season off.

If you, instead, think of how this team finished first overall in the East last season, was one of the most dangerous scoring teams in the league, contained the Norris and Vezina winners and was picked by more than a few pundits to be a serious Cup contender this season, you may not be as comfortable with what happened yesterday. You may have wanted a bit more.

Put me in the latter category.

Listen. I’m not the completely unrealistic type, despite the inordinate amount of time I spend living inside the head of a fictional character. I know this team, the way it stands, cannot be considered a serious contender right now. The teams above them are too good and they’re too bumbling and inept. I have eyes. I can see.

But I still want more from this team. I still want to see them fight for it, put up a struggle, get in there and muck it up as much as possible. You never know what might happen in the playoffs. Dark horse teams, hot goalies, who know? The key is to get in there and give it a shot. The Bruins are a bubble team right now, holding on to one of those last spots with ragged claws but that doesn’t mean they can’t improve that position and start playing better.

To do so, however, they needed a little help. Specifically, a scorer at wing who could play with Marc Savard. Someone like Raffi Torres or Alexei Ponikarovsky. Lee Stempniak? Anybody who could add a little scoring and address the team’s most glaring need. Something to help tilt the scales a little to the positive, here.

It didn’t happen.

People speculated that the Bruins’ brass was asleep at the switch yesterday. That, with a little more effort, they could have swayed some of those deals towards Boston and acquired some needed help. People said they lacked balls, the courage to gamble on a move that might make a splash and instead played it safe. Too safe. Fans were pissed off, desperately not wanting to see their team quit on them. A sign of hope was all we wanted.

We got Dennis Seidenberg.

And got rid of Derek Morris, of course. Talk about lateral moves.

It just wasn’t enough. Our faith is now shaken. Doubt and bitterness invade our psyche. We begin to regress to pre-2008 days. The clueless, crappy Bruins are on their way back. It was always a fragile sense of confidence, we have to admit. Now it fades again.

Is it that bad? I don’t know, really. There is still the hope that this team still has some of the necessary components to win some games if certain players can pull their heads out of their asses. So many guys are not living up to the billing this year. If they could just find themselves…

Pipe dreams. Anyway, tonight Toronto comes to town bringing thoughts of first round picks but also displaying a team that had the courage to make a few moves. What team in Black and Gold they will face on the ice remains to be seen.

The Dennis Seidenberg Era begins.

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2 Responses to “Trade Wrap”

  1. gonz Says:

    As much as I like Torres, Bruins fans are barking up the wrong tree if they thought he could cure the team’s offensive woes. Torres is a role player, he’s grit, and worth the occasional clutch goal. As much as Savard wanted him, I wouldn’t see him doing much except banging on a line with Thornton & Lucic.

    However, he is coveted for those very facets I mentioned and the Bruins didn’t seem to want to give up a second-round pick in the ’10 draft to get him.

    I guess what I’m saying is that the Bruins need offensive revolvers and not flintlocks.

  2. Ken Socrates Says:

    This is very true but considering what was out there, Torres and Ponikarovsky looked like the best options at wing. Torres’ 19 goals would tie him with Marco Sturm for the team lead. That’s how sparse the B’s offense is. Marc Savard, arguably one of the premier passing centers in the NHL, is currently skating with Daniel Paille (9 goals) and Mark Recchi (12). He’s shown no chemistry with anyone else on the team since Phil Kessel left. If he thought he could work with Torres, I’d have given it more of a shot to get him.

    And the grit aspect of his game is something they dearly need right now, too. There’s too little snarl in their game, too little jam, too little up-in-your-grille nasty. Thornton and Lucic are not banging at all. Looch looks like a shell of the slammin’, fightin’, scorin’ emotional leader he was in the past two seasons. Maybe when he’s 100% healthy and the playoffs are looming the old Looch might reappear. I’d hate to think he was a guy who got paid and then went soft. I refuse to think that.

    Torres wasn’t a cure all, for sure, but he would have been a show of faith and a spark for a team and a fan base that is losing it right now. Agitated and frustrated and full of doubts. Chiarelli needed to pick up on that and throw us a fucking bone. That he didn’t just isn’t sitting well with anyone right now.

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