Bourque, again Bruins savior?
Bruins fans, 8 games into the season, I would say are a little disappointed.
The free agent period offered many signs of optimism. Joe Thornton was signed to a three year deal and Sergie Samsonov will have a year to prove he should stay long term. The blue line was bolstered with a future hall of famer in Brian Leetch. They also signed former fan favorites in Travis Green and Shawn McEachern. Finally, an abundance of youth were ready to make their mark in the new NHL.
The new season was here and life from new blood like Scatchard, Zhamnov and the rookies had beantown buzzing. Holdout Nick Boynton was also signed. Everything looked fine and dandy for the Bruins
Well, well….here we are early in the season but the Bruins find themselves 3-5. They are a dismal 0-5 to division opponents (the best division in hockey). And they have not suited a full squad that they had anticipated in having. Thornton, Scatchard, Zhamnov, Slegr and now McEachern have all been shelved with groin and back injuries which seems to be the buzz of the NHL.
In comes the possible silver lining to a poor start. Hall of Famer and 20 year Bruin favorite, Ray Bourque, has all but become an assistant coach for the Bruins. The Bruins have been trying to get Bourque back to the original six team for many years. Once as a player and several times as a coach. Bourque is all but signed. He will not travel with the team but he will be involved in morning practice sessions. With Chris Bourque grown up, Ray has some more free time in the morning. He will be used to help a struggling defense particularly on power play and shorthanded assignments.
With Jiri Slegr on the shelve and Nick Boynton making up for a missed preseason, the Bruins are left with less than perfect defensemen. Aside from an over worked Leetch, the blueline is patrolled by Rookies Andrew Alberts and Kevin Dahlman. Ian Morran and Hal Gill are struggling with the new NHL and their speedy opponents. Smallish, speedy forwards from Montreal and Buffalo have accounted for four losses and unless something is done, be it personel change or coaching change, it could be a long and tough season for a team that had such promise.
Bourque could be a savior or it could be the beginning of drastic things to come. I have no doubt that Bourque will add a shot in the arm much like when Terry O’rielly became B’s coach. Will it solve all the problems the Bruins are having? Maybe not. They have been interested in other blueliners like Brendan Witt to seal some holes.
Bottom line is that the Bruins fans should not panic and take the good news with the bad start. The NHL plays a long season and their are teams that have success after a terrible start…..hello Houston Astros.
What do you think?
*reports out of the bostonherald.com*