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Bruins Q&A With One Of The Eight Bruins Fans Who Can Read And Write, Marshall from DOY

Days of Y’Orr was one of the best hockey blogs around. Then it went away. And then apparently it came back when I wasn’t paying attention. Mostly because Marshall and I are usually arguing about wrestling. Anyway, it’s back, you should read it, and follow Marshall and them on Twitter (@DOYMarshall @DaysOfYorr)

Once again, the Bruins underlying numbers are among the best in the league, and yet they’re jostling for a playoff spot in a pretty piss poor division. Is it all just poor shooting luck? Is there something more at work?

Their shooting percentage has finally started to turn a corner, but things have been pretty mind-boggling so far. To dominate possession the way they do, yet be so woefully inept at burying the puck really puts into question the adage of “good things happen when you put the puck on net.” Opposing teams are having far too easy a time forcing the Bruins to the outside, leading to some pretty poor shot selection. The top line is capable of creating offense from anywhere in the zone, but the others lack the necessary skill set.

They’re not really going to fire Julien, are they?

I mean, if they don’t fire him after last night in Detroit then he has to have nudes of somebody, right? The catchphrase around here lately has been “Well that isn’t Claude’s fault.” He doesn’t build the roster; he doesn’t shoot the puck; he doesn’t man the power play. No coach can fix all the problems this team has, but lately he hasn’t fixed any problems. I won’t give you any “he’s lost the room” garbage, but a coach’s primary job is to get his or her team ready to play the games. The last two games have been a microcosm, completely representative of this team. Getting shut out by the Islanders and then blowing a 4-1 lead to Detroit are as Boston as Dunkin Donuts and Mark Wahlberg’s criminal record.

I have been firmly on team ByeClaude for years, so you won’t see me shedding any tears at his departure, but the blame is far from his alone. We’re about a decade into the Cam Neely era now, and while the highs were high, the lows have been subterranean. The Bruins are about to miss the playoffs for the third straight year, something that hasn’t happened since the Original Six era. Changes are due throughout this organization.

David Pastrnak–genuine NHL 30-goal scorer or just benefitting from playing with Marchand? He did put up 15 in 50 games last year…

Real deal. The kid is a legit 30-goal man on this team, no easy feat. Any other team and he’s probably hitting 40 easily. Yeah, playing on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand is about a cushy a gig as any NHL player can get, but Pastrnak is the best finisher they’ve ever had. I’m sure the masseuses in L.A. are as salty about his All-Star snub as we are. (http://deadspin.com/bruins-rookie-follows-adult-massage-girls-on-twitter-1690495683)

The Bruins are making a big stink about Brandon Carlo. Is he really a thing or are they still scarred from coughing up Dougie Hamilton?

I’m still not sure management is aware of how hard they got burned by Calgary. Brandon Carlo is not on Dougie Hamilton’s level, but he does have the potential to be a serviceable top pairing player. He’s hit a bit of a rookie wall, but that’s bound to happen when you take a 20-year-old with zero NHL experience and play him more than everybody not named Torey Krug. It’s been strange seeing Claude rely on a rookie so much after a tenure that has seen healthy scratches of young talent in favor of AHL plugs, but that really shows you how dire the situation on the blueline has been. 

What are the Bruins, exactly? They don’t really appear to be a threat to the Caps or Penguins. But they’ve got a lot of big contracts to older players. They’re going to have to pick a path here soon, no?

If the Bruins were trying to disarm a bomb, they would sit there trying to decide which wire to cut right up to the moment the thing blows up in their face. The organizational philosophy of late has been to chase mediocrity, doing whatever they can to get that first round playoff revenue. This traditionally appears in the form of a Max Talbot, Brett Connolly, or Lee Stempniak. As seen by the Bruins consecutive playoff misses, this strategy has been a whopping disaster. 

The problem is that even if they decided to break up the team and aim for the future, their lack of marketable, moveable assets is staggering. Any retooling of the roster should center around players like Pastrnak and Carlo, with a few untouchables like Bergeron, Rask, and Marchand. Unfortunately, any player with any value has some sort of no movement clause, including David Backes, David Krejci, Matt Beleskey, and Zdeno Chara. And teams aren’t exactly beating down the door for the Adam McQuaids and Jimmy Hayes of the world. This time-honored Bruins tradition of giving too much term, too much money, and a no trade clause to players beyond their prime has done nothing but hamstring the team. 

In all likelihood, the deadline will come and go, and all the Bruins will do is pick up a veteran 3rd/4th line winger, miss the playoffs, and do the exact same thing next year. It’s the only thing the team can do with any consistency these days.