B Stands For….

B stands for Bruins, as in the Boston Bruins. A team rich in history and tradition. A team full of many greats and many legends. But also a team without a Stanley Cup in 34 years.

B stands for Brutal as in the Bruins 2005-06 season. The team missed the playoffs and finished a miserable 13th in the conference. It was a year full of high hopes as the team appeared to have a very good balance of youth and veteran leadership surrounding a top notch franchise player who was just entering his prime. It obviously did not turn out that way hence their terrible place in the standings.

B stands for Bust as in their free agent signings. The Bruins were in the best financial shape post lockout. The team had very little money tied to few players and had tremendous flexibility even with several key restricted free agents to re-sign. Though the team lost key players such as Brian Rolston and Sergei Gonchar, they managed to keep Glen Murray, while adding skilled players such as Brian Leetch and Alexei Zhamnov as well as grit with the addition of Dave Scatchard. Zhamnov was injured most of the year and managed 1 goal. Scatchard was dumped 20 games in after getting a whopping 4 year 8 million dollar deal. The team quickly realized they overpaid for a 4th line centre. Leetch was only on a 1 year deal but at 4 million , was vastly overpaid for a 37 year old. These were financial mistakes that cost the team dearly.

B stands for Bonehead as in Bonehead trade. If you thought the free agent signings were bad, nothing compares to one of the worst trades in Bruins history. The team traded it’s franchise player and star Joe Thornton to the Sharks for Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau and Marco Sturm. Those 3 are solid NHLers, but Thornton is in a class of his own. He is a rare blend of power, speed and skill. He can be near unstoppable. Him winning the Art Ross as leading scorer was the ultimate insult. This move may set the Bruins back for years. It totally ripped the team of any identity.

B stands for Bye Bye as in Bye Bye Mike O’Connell. Being the architect of these horrible moves listed above, there was no surprise O’Connell took the fall for the Bruins horrible standing. With the kind of influence owner Jeremy Jacobs has along with his right hand man Harry Sinden, perhaps it was not all of O’Connell’s doing, but he was the point man in all the moves and pretty much every one backfired. Someone had to pay the price and this time it was O’Connell.

B stands for Plan B, as in what they need to do next year. Well first things first, they need a new GM. In all likelihood that will result in a new coach as well. The leading candidate is Jeff Gorton who is currently the assistant GM and for now handling the GM duties on an interm basis. The Bruins really need a proven top guy to righten this ship. They really cannot afford to go with more inexperience and one that wont install alot of confidence in anyone. Whomever gets the job will have the good fortune of a top pick in this years draft. They sure could use another offensive stud to build with to help ease the loss of Thornton. Easier said than done.

B stands for Bergeron as in Patrice Bergeron. Right now, he is the team’s best player. He is only 21 years old and it appears he will only get better. He is skilled, creative and is willing to play in traffic. what more could you ask of him. He cant replace Thornton but he certainly has the capabilities to put up big offensive numbers.

B stands for Boyes, as in Brad Boyes. In any other year, Boyes would be a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year. That is how great he was. Boyes was 3rd on the team in goals scored and 1st in Assists and Plus/Minus. He may not be the best skater but he has improved immensly in that area. To make up for his deficiencies, he uses tremendous hockey sense and smarts and he has been excellent playing along side Bergeron.

B stands for Burn as in Speed to Burn which best describes Marco Sturm. Sturm came over in the Thornton trade rounded out the top line. He brings great speed and skill to the table. The problem has been that he has not very consistent. He received more responsibility in Boston and he responded with very good numbers putting up career bests. However he’ll be forever tagged with the guy they got for Thornton and the better he players the better chance he’ll make fans forget Joe.

B stands for Bland as in the rest of the Bruins forwards. Glen Murray is an excellent power player who uses his size to stake out his position on the ice. He also has a great shot, good hands and decent skating ability. The problem was he looked rather ordinary without a guy like Thornton feeding him all over the ice. He often looked like someone who wanted to leave. He may get his wish but as long as he is a Bruin, he better put forth the effort cause the team needs him to provide 2nd line scoring support.

A player who could help him is Alex Zhamnov. Unfortunately if he cannot stay healthy, ZHamnov is very useless. In fact even when he was in the Bruins lineup, Zhamnov was useless with 1 goal in 24 games. His fat contract was one of the worst signed last summer. He’ll either get bought out or be given one more shot to earn his keep. He has great skills but has been injury prone that last few years.

After dumping Sergei Samsonov, the team really needs to add some scoring depth. The Bruins have some decent checkers like Wayne Primeau, PJ Axelsson, Travis Green, Yan Statsny, Pat Leahy who add some grit and good blue collar work ethic to the team. However the Bruins require more skill, more speed and a bit more size and hard nosed play.

There are some decent talents coming through the pipeline however who may in time fill some of those needs. Petr Kalus is a speedy skilled winger who is not afraid to mix it up. A pretty rare combination for a young Czech player however he proved his worth in his first season in the Western Hockey League, which is known to be pretty tough. Martins Karsums has had 3 very decent seasons in the Q and should turn pro next season. He is a good two way player who plays a real smart game. David Krejci also plays in the Q and was in fact pick 1 spot ahead of Karsums in the 04 draft. He is a smart offensive player with good hands and lots of skill. His only problem is his size or lack thereof. The question is can he withstand the rigors of North American Pro hockey? For sure Ben Walter wont have that problem. For one thing, he has good size that helps him withstand the physical play. But he is also has good skill and smarts much like his father, former NHLer Ryan Walter. He could definitely challenge for a 3rd/4th line role next year in Boston.

B stands for Blueline which is the Bruins deepest position. The Bs have a decision to make on Brian Leetch and Hal Gill who are both UFAs this summer. They could re-sign them or at least find a replacement or two for their services. The D is led by Brad Stuart. He was the centrepiece in the Thornton trade. Stuart is a very good NHL defenceman and brings alot to the table. He has good size, is a terrific skater and has a heavy point shot. It has helped him have his best goal output to date. In Boston he will need to lead and play a much bigger role than in San Jose where he was part of a deep top 4. Joining him is Nick Boynton. The former first round pick had a horrible year missing time due to a holdout, suspension and several injuries. He is suppose to be a leader, but his undisciplined play was a setback. He will need to regain his form for the Bs to have any chance to improve. David Tanabe is another veteran who adds great skating ability and skill which has become a necessity in the new NHL.

B stands for Bright Prospects as in Bs solid foundation of youth on the blueline. The Bruins have a deep group of young defenceman who have or will soon be at the NHL level. Andrew Alberts surprised a few people with his steady defence first play. He has great size and is willing to use it. Being a plus player on a bad team is a credit to him and perhaps may make Gill expendable. Milan Jurcina showed a bit of offence in his stint with the Bs this season. He had 6 goals and was a plus 3 in 51 games as a rookie. He too is a very large player though not as physical as Alberts. I think Boston would like him to use his size more.

Knocking on the door are 3 more blueliners about ready to challenge for full time work. Mark Stuart is perhaps the best in the organization. He may not be an offensive stud, but he is a warrior, a leader and a hard nosed defensive player. IT appears he will be a top notch shut down blueliner for years to come. They would like to see him add a bit of offence to make him less one dimensional. Lars Jonsson has been a prospect in the Bruins organization for a long time. Perhaps sooner rather than later he will make the jump to North America. His skating ability and skills make him a good fit in the new NHL. He could be someone who can add to the powerplay and on the rush. Matt Lashoff may be a couple of years away but the Bs are very high on their most recent first round pick. Lashoff is more of an offensive blueliner but has good size that will allow him to take care of his own end. He simply needs to stay healthy to expediate his development. Missed time due to injuries may be a cause for concern.

B stands for Blue Paint as in who is going to be manning the crease next year as the number 1 goalie. All eyes are on Hannu Toivonen the Bs top notch rookie netminder. He had a great first season in Boston showing off his agility and quickness which can surprise some for a goalie his size. He has all the makings of a number 1 goalie. His lost half year due to injury certainly was a big blow to the Bs chances to make the playoffs. But he is young and the guy I think the Bs will build around as the franchise player. His backup, Tim Thomas carried the team as much as a 31 year old journeyman could. Terrific doesnt begin to describe Thomas and his play. He held the Bs in every game and made some dandy saves. He will be a great backup. This leaves us with Andrew Raycroft. He will be the Bruins biggest trade bait this summer. However his stock has fallen after a terrible sophmore season. He will need to work hard this summer to rebound and get his game back if he wishes to be a number 1 guy again. Many teams will take a chance at this guy.

B stands for Battle as in it will be a Battle for the Bs to make the playoffs. The Bruins need to find an identity and re-establish themselves to at least being a competitive team. too often they were pushovers. Certainly adding a fresh mind and a different approach made help things as what they have been doing has not worked. If the youngsters continue improvement things in Boston get that much better. They will need help however along the way. They got rid of the face of the team and now will have to live with that mistake. If the situation in Boston gets any worse, it may be time again for even more people to blow out of beantown.


51 Responses to B Stands For….

  1. Air33 says:

    B stands for Boring as in this article was boring.

    nah im just kidding it was pretty good but it did drag on.

    I cant wait to see who they sign next year.

    I like to see the teams with rich historys do well.

  2. SabresFan220 says:

    Interesting article, nice job. The Bruins aren’t that bad of a team, they just need a smart GM. As bad as their season was they did have the Sens beat this year.

    Patrice Bergeron should be the next captain of the Bruins, and I see Boynton getting an A, maybe Sturm too. The Thornton trade killed the season this year, but helped solidify the B’s for the future. So did dealing Samsonov who would’ve walked away anyway.

    I love Marty Reasoner, he’s underrated skill wise and he’s a real tough player with heart. Brad Boyes was amazing this year, the Leafs have to be scratching their heads right now. I’d say let Thomas and Toivonen split time competing for the job. I’d lean towards Thomas for the short term, he was the surprise goaltender of the year, or one of the biggest surprises in goal this year at least. Trade Raycroft to the highest bidder and go with the cards you’ve got. He may turn it around like Jose Theodore in Colorado seems to have, but he’s done in Boston. He could garner a top prospect or high pick that would help.

    On the blueline I’d let Gill walk, Leetch will probably retire but if not try to resign him. Tanabe and Stuart are a solid start back there, Boynton is good too. The B’s need to get some size back there but in a guy who can still skate. I think unless the new GM is amazing the B’s are at least 2 years from playoff hockey. They are well on the way though.

  3. Aetherial says:

    Yeah, they ARE that bad of a a team.

  4. muckies says:

    B stands for Bank, as in open it up to keep players around, and build a core with some type of chemistry.

    They can have all the prospects and desire in the world. But if the owner is to cheap to pay players and get a core that will be kept together, or pay for a real coach like a Crawford or Quinn, It’s game over in Boston. You can’t build chemistry the way the B’s do things with all there players coming nd going every 2 years.

  5. Damon says:

    B stands for brainless.

    Having followed the team for about 18 years, I can tell you that the problems will not cease until some rich FAN (and I stress FAN, not businessman) steps in ‘a la’ Robert Kraft with the Patriots and buys the team. Jeremy Jacobs is more concerned with concessions and parking lot revenues than putting a top notch team on the ice.

    The ideal owner is a true fan at heart. For example, Robert Kraft not only got the patriots a new stadium, but the team is competitive every year, and he still makes a hefty profit.

    The mixing of success and profit is a difficult one, but it can be done. Unfortunately, as long as the team is profitable, Jeremy Jacobs will continue to own it and they will continue to be terrible.

    As for the team itself, it was built for success standards in the “old” NHL. Also, the choice of coach would have been successful in the old NHL as well, but the system employed by Mike Sullivan is not suited to the new game. I think he will be fired as soon as a new GM is found.

    The Future:

    Personally, I would love to see a Marc Crawford behind the bench in Boston. He would bring instant credibility to the coaching position, which is something that has not been present since pat burns left several years ago.

    As for the team, I think they will make a vain attempt at signing a marquee free agent defenceman or forward. There is a glut of forwards to choose from, and at this point ANYONE will be a better fit than the current lot. As far as D-men, I would love to see the team make a run at someone like Chara or McCabe, but I dont see that happening.

    -DC

  6. Aetherial says:

    I wish they would make a run at McCabe … and force MLSE to look elsewhere.

  7. my_sphincter says:

    B stands for Bombastic…

    This post just went on and on… If I had to read one more thing that B stands for… well, I wouldn’t.

  8. habsoverserver says:

    B stands for *****. The Bruins will always be Montreal’s playoff *****.

  9. Tweek says:

    so how the hell does this relate back to montreal?

  10. Tweek says:

    B stands for below average goaltending which is what the bruins will get next year with thomas in net, he cant keep this pace up and he is too much of a blocker and not enough of a stopper to make a team win.

  11. oldtimehockey says:

    B stands for….. ARe you for real ? What a waste of web space. We generally want the coles notes version not the war and peace variety of commentary. However, I am sure that you were writing this thinking this would be funny or catchy. Riiiiiiight. B is for Bucking Rediculous…. as in this article.

    Then again… I could B stands for.

    I like the B’s.. they needed to get worse before they got better. O’connel is gone. Him being an Idiot is a catalyst for change.

  12. nordiques100 says:

    GO ***** YOURSELF SHITBRICK. CONTRIBUTE OR DONT COME TO THIS SITE.

  13. nordiques100 says:

    dont read it then. i contribute stuff and this is the thanks i get. figures, most of the people here are ignorant pricks like you anyway.

  14. Habs_no1_fan says:

    B stand for… Bad time to post a Bruins article!!!!

    Last time I checked, it’s the playoffs, and bruins are really far from it… So maybe we could wait for the end of the post-season before posting about a lousy team’s future….

    That’s just my opinion, but I respect it!

  15. nordiques100 says:

    no wonder none of the old school HTR members dont show up. you’re here and you try to contribute and you get shit on. typical.

    i’ve tried my best to add something, but again, no respect.

  16. muckies says:

    hey dude, it was a good article, who cares what people say. they look like idiots if they take a shot at you and don’t put any effort or thought into the site or writing articles.

  17. nordiques100 says:

    thanks for the support. it’s just irritating you put a couple of hours into contributing and that is the thanks i get.

    btw…tortorella is a dick

  18. Heinzee57 says:

    B stands for Bogey…. all the Bruins are golfing right now.

    57

  19. habsoverserver says:

    Your article was fine. Thanks for writing it.

    I miss the old timers as well.

  20. thatleafsguy says:

    B stands for BOOYA…

  21. Marky2Fresh says:

    B stands for Berg, as in, HES GONE!!

    Sorry I’m just so happy

  22. Tweek says:

    why not write something instead of being critical of a quality article, get the ***** off the site if you are here to gauge quality articles

  23. muckies says:

    oldtimehockey, your a tool.

    all you do is go around this site insulting people and saying you know everything. You should ZIP-IT, or take a hike.

    You won’t be missed.

  24. Lint07 says:

    …says the guy with a whopping 4 articles wrote to date.

    There’s nothing wrong with being critical, but doing it with class wouldn’t hurt.

  25. SJ_Sharks_Fan_19 says:

    thanks for that trade O’connell. Its gonna win San Jose the Cup.

  26. chronicbruin says:

    If I had a nickel for every *****y habs fan I’d be as rich as Jeremy Jacobs. Making the playoffs every other year doesn’t disqualify your team from being “lousy”. You’re the greatest team in your own mind.

  27. captainjoefish says:

    b stands for backstrom who i think the bruins should draft if he is still avaible otherwise trade pick and see if they could get some talent right now

    they have till the draft to sign lars jonsson or then he will be a free agent we could use him

    do not resign leetch unless he takes a huge pay cut

    get rid of gill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. gg_idiot says:

    thats pretty rude

  29. gg_idiot says:

    M stands for More Complaining, More Diving, and Missing Eye, as in Montreal is a bunch of dirty french *****s with just the right amount of greasy eurotrash thrown in to make a delighfully craptastic gumbo.

  30. gg_idiot says:

    then…dont read it….?

  31. gg_idiot says:

    B is for Best Article ever

  32. oldtimehockey says:

    The point of having a forum is to that people can express their opinion. I disagree with his whole B stands for. Perhaps a bit harsh, however it is annoying to read it on and on… So perhaps i shouldnt have read it.

    Perhaps i could have been more tactful.

  33. oldtimehockey says:

    I agree… The content should be gauged and the the quality. In hindsight… I erred. although I still think it went on and on and on….:)

    Some good points in the article.

  34. oldtimehockey says:

    I do challenge the artciles of some, however, that being said I have been a little harsh. And as mentioned in reply to my message a i agreed that i should be judging content not quality. So, in that case…. I appologize. Good thing im not judging grammar :):)

  35. oldtimehockey says:

    Much Agreed Lint. I have responded to all in turn agreeing in most part with the criticism. 🙂

  36. oldtimehockey says:

    B- Stands for Being a little brash. So, I recind my criticizm of the article for its quality. Some good content and valid points.

    My appologies on my initial comments.

  37. oldtimehockey says:

    B- Stands for Being a little brash. So, I recind my criticizm of the article for its quality. Some good content and valid points.

    My appologies on my initial comments.

  38. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    b stands for………………….. ummmm ill get back to you on that. well detailed article but i found it dragged on a little bit.

  39. Air33 says:

    your racist queer

  40. Air33 says:

    holy crap your a baby.

    You want everyone to praise you for your lame article?

    get over yourself

  41. paul_dc10 says:

    without a cup almost as long as the leafs are

  42. samsdad says:

    Alot of people will hate your article…non Bruin fans….cuz thats what most people on this site are like…the only thing they care about is their own team…….

    But….as a Bruins fan, I can say very good job. Nice analysis of the problems, the pluses and the future prospects. A good web site for future Bruins analysis is hockeyjournal.com…they have now rated the top 30 in the organizatiion.

    My take ……

    Goaltending is good…trade Raycroft for a center – Morrison. maybe we can screw TB and give them Raycroft for St.Louis – they loved Grahame so much….

    Defense – good potential – trade Boynton for a scorer – someone like Hejduk, Colorado is about to be hit with $ problems.

    Forwards – we simply cannot have 3 fourth lines again. If we are not going to pay anyone, then screw these retreads and castoffs – lets bring in Karsums-Krecji-Kalus-Walter-Pelletier-Redenbach and let them play….if we are going to have another rebuild year, lets at least try these guys – look how much Alberts-Jurcina-M Stuart did after getting experience.

    And for all you Tim Thomas doubters – look back at his college record….his AHL record….his record in Finland – 15 shutouts in one season! He is not a flash in the pan. I dont care what you say, the guy has proven it everywhere, now its his NHL chance…and he will prove it here too.

  43. chronicbruin says:

    I agree completely with what your position on the retreads, get rid of them all.Let the kids play and see what they got.Bring in a bonafied enforcer. Sign a top level centre and 1 or 2 second/third line forwards.Sign a #1 defenceman.

  44. samsdad says:

    I think witha 2d line center and a 2d line winger, we would be ok.

    Defense, I think with Mark&Brad Stuart, Jurcina, Alberts, Tanabe and Lashoff, trade Boynton for the previously mentioned 2d liners, and with moran as a spare part, defense would be ok – and very good in a year or too.

    This team needs to upgrade talentwise..its nice to have people who work hard, but you cant have 9 of em………

  45. my_sphincter says:

    I’m not trying to be a prick. The article wouldn’t have been bad if not for all the “B stands for” That is the only point I was trying to make.

  46. my_sphincter says:

    I think for alot of people it was the “B stands for…” over and over and trying to fit it into each point that turned people off this article. Again, the content is quite good, it is the presentation that was rather trying. If I didn’t have to read all of the things that “B stands for”, I may have really enjoyed this one…

    Just my opinion.

  47. hockeyhead says:

    nice job again nords.

    i think the bruins can bounce back. it is obvious they want to make a complete change.

    there must of been some serious locker room issues.

    next, hire a good gm, hire a new coach and get a quality guy at 5.

  48. gobruins08 says:

    B is for bums…which a lot of you are on this site. Obviously there are many smart hockey posters on this site, but the stupid, biased and ‘I rather get in a fight with another poster’ bring HTR down. This is why I left here a long time ago, since there are many better hockey sites on the web. And I believe this article was written in the Boston Herald or Globe..and is written to Bruins fans (who obviously many of you on here are not) who would be interested in the topic. And shouldn’t you say where you got this story from instead of steal it?

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