Five things that are bothering me about the Bruins heading into this week. No stats... just GUTS.
5. Torey Krug looks like Budnick
Don't think so? Run it up a flagpole, Donkey Lips. Also, Krug has been a total spazz attack over the last week. The puppy love phase is over; now we get into the whole mutual respect and compromise part of our relationship.
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH TOREY - A PLAY
ME: Torey, I will love you and wear your jersey provided I stop seeing your back when opposing forwards blow by you in the defensive zone.
TOREY: Who are you and how did you get this number?
ME: Please grow your hair like Budnick.
TOREY: Don't ever call me again.
You're a fortunate -2 in the last three games. (Don't worry, +/- isn't a real stat.) Get it together, bro.
4. Brad Marchand in existential crisis
A stick penalty and an elbow in the past three games might suggest Marchy is trying to work his way out of his early season funk by dancing with the dame that brought him:
cheap shit peskiness. It seems inevitable/logical that he'll drop back down with the third line once Loui-LOUI-AY returns, where he did look more comfortable and threatening in more sheltered minutes. Except as of Monday, he's still practicing with the second line. Then again, everyone is.
Does he miss his best pal, Seggy? Is he paranoid that he'll be shipped out of Boston too? Sometimes, chemistry is a thing. Otherwise, you wouldn't have a Johnny Gomes three-run HR highlight from a pivotal World Series game. Get this man to a sports psychologist! Or the School of Practical Philosophy. Whatever keeps the puck on his stick.
3. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T TOUCH THE MERLOT
You've got love the scrappy grittitude that Merlot brings to the B's. I mean, who doesn't compulsively worship blue collar toughness and other derivative sports platitudes? Here's the thing: you don't have to love the terrifying moments in the Bruins zone, scratching the puck out of the slot/crease, flinging it toward a vaguely open Paille, having that pass get picked off in the neutral zone and repeating the process until TR40BIGMONEYPLAYA can freeze the puck and get a real line on ice.
There's a logjam of (potentially) scoring forwards at this point. I promise to vote for Shawn Thornton when he runs for mayor of Boston, but even his fights are boring and ineffective at this point. (They're mostly exercises in sportsmanship while he lets whatever AHL scrub undo his elbow pads.) Putting Greg Campbell in the rafters for a couple of games won't totally screw up our NHL Front Office Conspiracy. WINK WINK.
2. Chara is probably going to kill someone soon
Going back a few days here -- and I'm sure you'll be straining to remember this -- it was pretty clear that Big Z wanted a piece of John Scott. He may have wanted all of John Scott, although god knows what a man would do with 260lbs of dog shit. Anywho, since then we've seen a couple of iffy high hits, six PIM, and a lost cool Roughing call in the waning moments of the Islanders tilt.
My point: he's frustrated. Either the team improves this week or Chara goes nuclear soon. My secret hope: he chases Phil Kessel out of the face off circle next Saturday. The Circle of Life!
1. The regular banes of the Bruins' existence are still the banes of the Bruins' existence
Where to start...
Playing down to opponents? CHECK
Flaccid power play? CHECK
First period dead legs? CHECK
Seems like a group of single-minded professional coaches would find a way to address these constantly recurring problems with a dedicated group of talented athletes. On the flipside, a Cup in 2011 and a great run at one last year. I can type on a keyboard sortaioajdvpoix.
See ya next week maybe.