“For us to be a team that’s out of the playoffs is unacceptable.” “I can’t say that at any moment we have a final decision, other than to say it’s been an utter disappointment and a failure. A complete failure.” “It’s unacceptable the way this team has performed, given the amount of time, money, and effort that’s been spent on this team. To see it deliver the way it has is unacceptable.”
– Charlie Jacobs, Boston Bruins CEO, January 2015
That’s right. 2015. That was the message two full calendar years ago. Since then, there’s been two seasons of missing the playoffs and soon to be a third. And through it all NOTHING has changed…
“Unacceptable”? Define that please, Mr. Jacobs. Unacceptable is defined as being not satisfactory or allowable. Certainly, the latter is not true in the case of the Boston Bruins. Cam Neely and Don Sweeney continue to lead this team into a black hole and it’s surely has been allowed…for two full years.
The Bruins currently are second in the Atlantic Division with 52 points. This is very deceiving. They’re just two points ahead of both Toronto and Ottawa and they have six games at hand. Six games! That means if those teams were to go just 1-4-1 in those six games at hand, they would knock the Bruins off of the playoff standings. Translation: This is not a playoff team right now. They’re far from it.
The Bruins had a pathetic showing on Monday against the third worst team in the NHL, the New York Islanders. They lost 4-0 at TD Garden. After the game, the team was making comments about not being prepared. Patrice Bergeron stated “It was really the whole team throughout the lineup that didn’t show up and, you know, it’s obviously inexcusable, unacceptable.” There’s that word again. “Unacceptable”. Not satisfactory or allowable? Patrice, it’s allowable. It has been for the past three seasons.
After the poor performance on Monday, the Bruins decided to cancel practice on Tuesday. Inexusable? Unacceptable? So, the first thing to do when the team plays at an unacceptable level is cancel practice? The were rumors floating around that the team was meeting internally. Who knows what happened in those meetings. Trade talk? Game strategy? One thing can be confirmed though. It’s the same thing that can be confirmed in regards to Jacobs, Neely, and Sweeney over the past three years. There was no change. No action.
Last night, the Bruins went out to Detroit and they got off to a blazing hot start. OK. Now we’re talking! The team got the message. It was heard loud and clear. The players are going to be accountable or else! Or else they blow a three goal lead twice in the game and lost 6-5 in overtime. The Bruins hot start was simply a glimmer of hope. Nothing more. This game completed the two worst back-to-back losses of the season.
So, where did that leave us on Thursday? What action was going to be taken? A big trade? A team meeting?
Cancelled practice…again. With one of the top teams in the league in Chicago Black Hawks coming to Boston on Friday Night, who needs practice, right? Certainly not this team.
Seriously. What’s going on here? This front office appears to be a giant disaster. There’s no media availability to upper management. Fans are speculating that something BIG is going to happen. This from a front office who’s only BIG move in the past five years was trading away one of the most talented young hockey players in the world in Tyler Seguin. Granted, that was Peter Chiarelli’s team, but the man with his name attached to #8 in the rafters surely signed off on it.
The rumors today are the Claude Julien is going to be let go. That certainly would be a big move. However, is that really the answer here? Fire the coach who proved time after time that he can win with talented teams? Now he’s given a team that surely has top end talent, but has a huge drop off after that. That’s the solution to the problem?
Cam Neely and Don Sweeney are in charge of this team and they are responsible for the product on the ice. They need to make move and, unfortunately, it’s likely going to be Julien that gets the blame. It appears that their goal is to get this team to the playoffs this year. If it doesn’t happen, they know they could be next. The reality is that the team that they created is the issue. Not the coach.
What if Neely and Sweeney think it will just be a repeat of the past two years with no action and a free ride?
If that’s the case the Bruins will take another step back…just like they have in each of the past three seasons.