Boston Bruins: The Good, the Bad and the Timely Passage of Nostalgia

Wayne WhittakerCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2009

In past years, Bruins fans have had no glory to bask in beyond the achievements.

In pre-game ceremonies, highlights of Cam Neely, Ray Bourque or Johnny Bucyk would often draw the loudest applause.

Those days are finally over.

The 2008-2009 campaigns has been a year to remember, thus far and although the Bruins are in a bit of a "funk" right now, the mere fact that the Hub of hockey is once again buzzing is an improvement for the resurgent Bruins.

The month of February hasn't been kind to the Bruins.

Boston heads into tonight's matchup against Carolina toting a four game losing streak.

A reason to panic?

Not quite yet.

"We haven't been scoring as much as we'd like to lately and you've got to kind of move guys around a little bit and see if that will spark things," Coach Claude Julien said, when asked why he jumbled the lines for tonight's game.

The most noticeable change swaps Blake Wheeler up to the front line, while the slumping Phil Kessel is demoted to the second line.

When asked about Kessel's lack of production as of late, coach Julien was his usual firmly supportive self.

"As I explained to him, don't wait for it to happen," Julien said. "Go out there and make it happen."

As some players struggle to regain momentum, Patrice Bergeron appears to be closer to his old self.

While most of Boston's game play has been embarrassingly sloppy lately, Bergeron has been a true high point.

Water Cooler Chat

For the last month or so, trade rumors have been heating up around Boston.

Many big names have been thrown into the discussion, but it appears much of the fervor has cooled down—there are a few exceptions.

Reports indicate that Boston and Edmonton are very close to a deal that would make Erik Cole a Bruin.

Cole has reportedly discussed the deal with friends, suggesting that he could be moving to Boston before the Mar. 4 deadline.

Other reports point to Jordan Leopold being brought to Bean Town.

Both moves could definitely help the Bruins. However, the price must be right: Losing some of Boston's top prospects may be more costly in the long run.

No matter what the price is, there is always a gamble when it comes to team chemistry.

Boston's locker room is one of the strongest in all sports and adding any new element this late in the season is a risky venture, however, there's no reason to doubt GM Peter Chiarelli yet, as he has done nothing but improve this hockey club since taking on the position.

Looking Forward

Every team hits speed bumps in the course of the NHL's 82-game season and the Bruins have officially reached that point.

What separates the elite teams from the rest is the way they respond after hitting their low point.

Boston has a chance to do just that tonight in Carolina.

The rest of February's schedule works in Boston's favor, climaxing on the 29th against Washington.

Boston will have a chance to once again reaffirm their spot at the top of the Eastern Conference.