Somewhere in Boston, a child looks up from an IGINLA TO PENS story as a ray of spring sun hits his Patrice Bergeron poster. Hope is reborn.— Paul Wheeler (@fourthlinewing) March 28, 2013
To those of you who stayed up long enough to find out Jarome Iginla to Boston wasn't happening, went to bed, then woke up feeling like you were run over by a Mack truck: I am sorry. To those of you who woke up this morning to discover the wacky news: I am less sorry, because you probably at least got a peaceful night of sleep.
Let's take a step back from the ledge. Here's the thing: While adding Iginla would have been really cool for a lot of reasons (best friends with Ference! Practically perfect like Patrice! A pretty good hockey player in his own right!), not adding him is not going to be the end of the world - or season - for the Bruins.
The Bruins are in no way, shape or form a bad hockey team. As Servo has pointed out a number of times, our possession numbers are awesome. Take a look at any of the Fenwick charts from most of the games this season and you'll see that's pretty apparent. Scoring was an issue for a few games, but every team slumps. The holes in the team are fill-able by players that aren't Iginla. They're problems the team has had all year - problems they've been able to overcome and still win 21 games.
The third line needs an upgrade and the defense has holes that need to be filled. The Bruins put up five goals last night and couldn't manage to hang on to a third period lead; better defense and a third line you can rely on to help keep the other team off the scoreboard would be a solution to that problem. Chiarelli doesn't need to overpay a top-6 forward to fill these holes; he needs to acquire one good defenseman and a middle-6 forward, and Iginla would be neither of those on the Bruins. Arguably.
As the ever-helpful Cam Charron pointed out on Twitter today, the Penguins are "hardly an infallible team." Nine of the wins in their streak have been one-goal wins - hardly the crazy "let's put up quota on other teams every night!" amazingness that was the November 2011 Bruins. On the flip side, of Boston's 11 losses this season, two have been in overtime, two have been in the shootout, four have been one-goal losses, one was a two goal loss but there was an empty-net goal involved, and the only two real multiple-goal losses were to....Buffalo.
Despite their third-period struggles of late, every Bruins loss this season has been CLOSE. Adding a solid third line and some good defense to this team really could be enough.
So what are some of the options out there?
According to CSNNE, the Bruins are in talks with the Oilers to possibly acquire Ryan Whitney and either Ales Hemsky or Magnus Paajarvi. Martin St. Louis' name is potentially on the table. Ryane Clowe's name has been tossed around. Maybe we could somehow procure Keith Yandle. (aside: how funny would a Whitney-Yandle d-pair be. GET ALL THE BOSTONIANS!!!) The Blues are in a nosedive, maybe they'd be open to trading a roster player for a return we'd like just to shake things up. And certainly many of the other teams who aren't making the playoffs will look to upgrade for the future, which the Bruins can help with. Additionally the Dread Pirate Unicorn Soderberg is still floating around out there somewhere, just waiting to sign when his playoff series ends. (He'll be cutting it close; the 7-game series against Skelleftea starts tonight, and he must sign by next Wednesday's trade deadline.)
And of course, as usual, Peter Chiarelli probably has something up his sleeve that none of us had even considered. That Harvard education, man.
In short: we're going to be okay. Really. Also read this, it's pretty good.