(Originally posted on 4SportBoston.com )
The smack has certainly been laid down on our beloved Black and Gold as of late. Losing 5-1 against the worst hockey team in the NHL Sunday should be a swift stick to the face. But will it be? The first nine minutes of the game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes showed some promise, but lacked something still. Let's take a look at the word BRUIN for a second.
The letter B... Bad. The outside of the Garden decorated in "The Big and Bad are Back". Really? Where? Not on Causeway St.. Not anywhere.
The letter R... Ruthless. Last year, teams cringed in the face when they saw "@ Boston" on their schedule. Especially Montreal. Teams were terrified to play Boston. Seems to me that this year, teams come in with a compete level that of a confident squad. We can't have that! The fighting is almost a non-factor. Hits are down significantly from last year. Three men on the Bruins have what it takes to save this category: Shawn Thornton, Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic. These three need to step up the rough and tough factor big time!
The letter U... Urgency. I see none! Last year there was a "bee in everyones bonnet"! The Bruins skated with purpose and one goal was never enough. Results are more positive than not when hockey is played with urgency.
The letter I... Intensity. This word is obviously not in the dictionary of any Bruin at the current time. I've seen consistent intensity from four players: Patrice Bergeron, Daniel Paille, Steve Begin and Vladimir Sobotka. Something is wrong with that. While I'm certainly not complaining that these four players are giving it their all, I am complaining that I expected this level of intensity from EVERYONE who laces up skates and takes the ice. Two of these players weren't even Bruins last year, and one was a baby Bruin. Bruins intensity right now = non-existent.
The letter N... DeNNis WidemaN. Dennis has certainly been a menace this year. Sporting a -12, the worst on the team, many of the goals against have been a direct result of a mis-play by a player who is supposidly known for his offensive presence as a D-man. You talk about a player in need of a reboot, Wides is that player. Coach Claude Julien let Wideman have it, and I'm sincerely hoping he turns it around or I will be begging he get delt before the trade deadline in March. Netminding, great at times, terrible at others. Tim Thomas and Tuuka Rask have looked lost on too many occasions this year and teams are really making them pay.
What does it mean to wear the spoked B? It means bringing Blackhawk, Capital and Penguin-like intensity to 60 minutes of every game, not in spurts.
Can the Bruins turn it around? Sure they can. But it's going to take 400% from every skater every night and it all starts vs. Buffalo.
That is all for now...check back Thursday for a preview of the Bruins/Sabres matchup!
"Holy $#*@, where's the tylenol?!"