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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Raycroft Case

Since the B's goaltenders are struggling; the B's take a couple of shots on Blogs and sports boards regarding the way they handle the Raycroft situation. But, do the B's have to take a 100% blame here. I don't think so. Last year was a bad one for everyone. The Front Office was incompetent as the coaching and the team never recover from a lazy start and fall apart when JT was shipped to SJ. The goaltending was terrible and Razor had a difficult start. Then, Toivonnen and Thomas emerge from the ashes with solid performances and, from there, everything was said and done. So, in that context, who should take the blame?.


Well, I think we can fairly say that both side misplayed the whole situation but i think the real beginning of that story would be the negociation of Raycroft's contract. JJ's strategy painted the team in a corner. They have to rebuild the whole roster by acquiring free agents. The problem here was that they forgot that they had, in their organisation, player who deserved a raise. Raycroft deserved one and i think the B's offer was decent for a second year rookie. The Raycroft's clan didn't think so and took the hard line by pulling an Holdout. This strategy was flawed from the beginning since: 1- The B's had an history of turning down any players who want to play the hard line with them; 2- After a one year hiatus, Raycroft got late on the ice and was not prepared enough for the new NHL. In fact, the whole roster was not. So, in that regard, Raycroft is guilty. I would also questionned his attitude through the season. I didn't say that he shouldn't feel that way, but he surely had the obligation to be a professionnal and i think that, sometimes, he was not.

The B's have to look in the mirror too and the whole " let's buy a roster strategy " was nothing less then stupid. But let's face it, it was a Jacobs strategy. So,what can you expect then?. The money was an issue and once again, in the training camp, the team find herself in a position where not 1 but 2 players were on a holdout. So, after a tussle and a money juggling extravaganza, Raycroft was ready to go on ice. His performances were less then impressive ( he was slow and allow too many softies) . Suddenly, Toivonnen rise to the occasion and took the #1 job. At one point, They should wait and see and allow Raycroft to recover from his bad start. Instead of being patient and articulate; the B's brought Thomas as a backup. That move could only lead to a desaster since Raycroft knew, at this point, that the front office didn't believe in him anymore. Raycroft was not the rookie of the year anymore; he was considered as a flop ( in MOC mind ). From there, Raycroft was put aside and start to be very unhappy ( who wouldn't ). The point of no return was reached.

So, who should take the blame here? Well the two sides should. Raycroft have a good season this year and there's no doubt, in my mind, that his preparation was better and his motivation higher then the Eiffel tower. Yes, Razor is gone and the B's look follish. At least, they got one of the finnest futur goaltender in the world in return. But, for now, they are stuck with two middle range keepers; a question mark and maybe an horrible season. Time will tell.

11 Comments:

Blogger neb said...

latrappe - i largly agree with you, this time...the thing to note here is that while raycroft struggled last year it does not mean he was a bad goalie...the whole team struggled and are still struggling because of a loss of continutity from the jacobs purge.

when you do not know who you are playing with you can not play as a team. you can not get comfortable together... our present goalies are not as bad as the team in front of them have made them look and our team is not as bad as our goalies have made them look - a little consistancy from both and some time together to blend will go a long way.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous greg said...

Sometimes things just don't work out and a player needs to start anew. So much of any sport is mental.

Look at Razor's stats though--he didn't get off to a very good start. A short hot streak comes along and suddenly he's considered a great goalie again. The same could happen for Thomas and Toivanen.

I think the real lesson here is that for all the talk of trades and individual performance, Hockey is above all a team sport. As neb suggests, building a team takes time.

It's going to be a long season. There will be winning streaks, individual players will have great nights, key injuries will occur, and losing streaks will happen. In the end we'll likely end up 8th or 9th. What this year should be about is building a team--a cohesive group of people who look at each other as a family and who will take care of one another. You can't ever have that if you keep moving players...

11:32 AM  
Blogger neb said...

greg will you be my friend :)

3:31 PM  
Blogger Latrappe said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:38 PM  
Blogger CaptBubba said...

I also largely agree with this assessment. JJ's policy of starting from scratch is a fine idea...on paper. Unfortunately for us Bruins fans, there is a thing called "chemistry" which was completely overlooked and now we're stuck on season two-in-a-row of starting with largely a brand new roster.

Look at the Sabres last year. Did anyone think that they would have been such a great team? I challenge anyone who says they believed they would get to the Conference Finals after the lockout ended. They had skilled but under-rated players, but they kept >90% of their team together and played like it.

The B's bought a team and expected them to just roll. On paper, I thought the B's were worthy of a top 4 spot in the East last year. Razor not playing in the lockout, I think, was a huge factor in him not being ready. The lockout exacerbated the problem and we were toast before December. It didn't help that Boynts held out and Zhamnov was hurt immediately...if...if...if. Take away a lot of if's and Joe is still wearing #19, especially the "if Joe just didn't play like a 6'4" Craig Janney..."

3:41 PM  
Blogger Latrappe said...

Greg, what you said is true. Sadly, the sympathy for the team is non-existent; largely because JJ's betrayed the fans by lying and using that kind of speech against them. That's why fans want actions now. Even if that or those actions could be harmful ( long term ) for the team; they don't want to hear the " wait-and-we-will-be-better " speech. It's too bad because what you said is the key of the success. Maybe the fans are so deep in their deception that they can help it; they want to auto-self destruct the team they love...

3:54 PM  
Anonymous greg said...

"greg will you be my friend :)"

Why certainly neb. But first... please place one hand on a picture of "The Goal" and answer this question:

Are you, or have you even been, a fan of the habs?

:-)

3:59 PM  
Anonymous greg said...

latrappe: you should not speak for "the fans." Let us do that.

Believe it or not, none of this is new to me--you don't need to explain it as if I haven't been following along. In fact, I've been a Bruins fan for 35 years and I haven't been in a cave or something... As a fan, last week you said I was "impatient." Now you say that I "want action now." I can speak for myself, thanks.

Perhaps you should simply speak for yourself as well?

4:54 PM  
Anonymous greg said...

latrappe: you should not speak for "the fans." Let us do that.

Believe it or not, none of this is new to me--you don't need to explain it as if I haven't been following along. In fact, I've been a Bruins fan for 35 years and I haven't been in a cave or something... As a fan, last week you said I was "impatient." Now you say that I "want action now." I can speak for myself, thanks.

Perhaps you should simply speak for yourself as well?

11:17 AM  
Blogger neb said...

hand on goal:

i solomnly swear that i have never been a fan of any hockey team north of the new hamshire border (except for maybe a little crush on edmonton in the 80's, but Petr Klima, ruined that)

i pledge allegiance to the hub of hockey despite it being called bruins!

pederson to middleton forever!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Latrappe said...

Ah... Petr Klima... What a player he was :-).

3:28 PM  

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