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Friday, March 02, 2007

Is it the offense or the defense?

Peter Chiarelli believes the Bruins need help defensively, so he traded away a very valuable part of this team (Brad Boyes). But is that what this team really needs? No, it is not. This team needs more offense. In 63 games this season, the Bruins have been outshot in 44 of those games. That means they have only outshot the opponent 19 times all season. I am sorry, but when you continually get outshot, it means you are getting outplayed. If the opponent generates more shots and scoring chances, then they have a better chance to win games. But Dave Lewis and Chiarelli do not realize this. Yes defense is important but when your team cannot generate shots or score in 5 on 5 situations then it is obviously your offense. The offense is the biggest question mark on this team and where would this team be without Marc Savard? They would probably be in a similar spot, point wise, to Philly this season.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should make you the GM or the coach (take your pick).

Obviously you know more about it than they do.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

I agree with what you are saying, pekese. But shots do not mean as much as quality scoring chances. A shot could be made from the opposite blue line, and if it goes on goal, it is considered a shot.
Now a good championship team is built around defense. Lately it has been Thomas, standing on his head, keeping us in games. But I think what needs to be done... is more guys need to drop down and start blocking shots. That is one thing Ward is good at. Hopefully his work ethic will help the young guys. Also, the forwards need to get back and forecheck. Stop letting the other team get in on Thomas like they are.
As for Boyes, yes, i'm upset he is gone. Considering, I feel with what other teams were paying for talent, that we should have got more for him. Maybe a 4th rounder with Wideman. But then again, Wideman played a pretty decent game. But like the saying goes, you have to give something up, to get something. I would have liked Laraque in black and gold. He is an enforcer type that can actually play the game.
The Bruins have some good young players to build around. Bergeron, Kessel, Bochenski, Kobasew and Chistov. As well as some good veterans to help them along the way. Savard, Axelsson, Murray, and Sturm. And look in Providence. Karsums, Trevelyan, Kalus and Krejci. And not to mention who PC signs this year and drafts.
I for one, hope the Bruins miss the playoffs. As good as Thomas is playing, I don't think he could keep up with Miller, Hasek, or Brodeuer to name a few. I think a higher pick would be better in the long run.
Watch for PC to try and get Phillips in here to shore up the defense once and for all.
Chara-Alberts
Phillips-Wideman
Ward-Ference
And then he'll nail a decent goalie. Biron, Giguere, or Weekes long term. Hasek, Belfour, or Joseph short term until Rask is ready.
And finally another forward to help put the puck in the net. Not sure who will fit his role here.... but I think we will be ok.
Anyway... here i go with my long winded rants again.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

I think anonymous posters should nut up and put a name behind their statements. Takes real balls to hide behind a keyboard AND not post a name!

4:10 PM  
Anonymous jim said...

The offense is joke! bruins didnt deserve the 1 point they got last night(nor does any team for losing)

4:24 PM  
Blogger Pekese said...

bosbrn77, you make good points. I know the Bruins have good prospects coming up and that Wideman could turn out to be great. But when the majority of the game is played in your end then your going to lose hands down. Defense is very important, but Lewis cannot coach offensively at all and they do lack the scoring punch this season, which is why they suck 5 on 5. Granted defense will win you games, but to be successful on a game-to-game basis, you need a combination of both.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

You came close,pekese. Lewis can't coach PERIOD!! Maybe if he wasn't shuffleing the lines every third shift, there would be some chemistry?!! I'm sorry, but I think every forward on the team (minus Mowers) can put 15-20 goals in a season. But they need to know their linemates. The only two guys who haved played together night in and night out, barring injury, have been Glen and Marc.
Not to mention the lack of forechecking. These guys need to be held accountable for standing around, or even worse, giving up! That is one thing I like about Tenkrat. He will skate his ass off until his shift is over. He chases the puck like a wildman. More guys need to give it their all every night! Earn a paycheck for Pete's sake!
The defense is right there. Maybe a little upgrade in the off season, but for now... run with it. And let's put some lines together and KEEP THEM TOGETHER!!! I see no reason why the following lines could not have competed with any team in the league.
Kessel-Savard-Murray
Bochenski-Bergeron-Sturm
Chistov-Boyes-Kobasew(Tenkrat)
Axelsson-Mowers-Donovan
But now that the trade went down, Kessel needs to play center in Boyes place, move the second and third line LWs up a line, and put Tenkrat in with Kessel and Kobasew.
I feel Boyes gave us three great/good centers that could feed the puck to quality wingers. And it would have allowed Kessel to play with Savard and Murray giving us a potent top line.
Last nights game was horrible. But most games lately have been. It is ok to have an off night here and there, but not an on night here and there. Thomas kept them in the game. Could have easily been a 10-3 final again!
But last night... NO DEFENSE was played at all. 51 shots is hideous. I think every player should have to done goalie equipment and have 50 pucks shot at them to see what it feels like. Then maybe they would bust their asses more for Thomas the way he does for them!
Bottomline... this is still a team in the works. The blueprint is there, but just the foundation is set. Lets see what comes next. Hopefully O'Reilly will be our savior! LOL

5:07 PM  
Blogger Pekese said...

As for next season, the defense is already complete. There are 5 members of this defense returning(Chara,Ward,Ference,Wideman,Alberts), plus Lashoff and Stuart, both of whom will be competing for the final available spot. I really cannot see Chiarelli signing another defenseman, unless he makes a trade (possible defensemen to trade:Alberts, Lashoff, Stuart?).

As for the offense, they desperately need help. Kessel will obviously improve as will the other young prospects coming up. But who is to say they will all be on the team next season. The organization might feel they need more time to develop, since the majority of them are 18-21.I for one, think the Bruins need to address the left wing position and sign a left winger(left-handed shot) who can score(but the cap will limit the options). They need more balance offensively.

As for goaltending, I believe Chiarelli will make a push for a true #1, although Thomas has saved this season for the Bruins.

Again the cap will be an issue, but the only way the Bruins will be a contender next season is if they get another goalie and another scorer, for the future is bright for the Bruins, but the future is not now, for the younger guys need time to develop, learn their game, and get some NHL experience under their belts. Asking a rookie to step in and deliver right away is too much to ask, as we are seeing from Kessel, who has played well and will progress over time, but right now his contributions are limited.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Pekese said...

Haha, I was close, but you nailed it with that one.

Line consistency is a must to get the chemistry going. I do believe the next few games will be consistent, although they did put themselves into a bad situation with the trade of Boyes, in regards to center depth, for I like Kessel better on the wing.

Axelsson-Savard-Murray
Sturm-Bergeron-Bochenski
Tenkrat-Kessel-Kobasew
Reich-Mowers-Donovan

As for players backchecking, some do, some do not. Kessel suprisingly does more than people notice and he is the youngest on the team. Maybe the rest can learn from him, because Lewis is obviously not demanding it because hardly anyone else is doing so.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

People! the Bruins do not need a Goaltender! Thomas has stood on his head all year! Goaltending is not the issue. I think ive heard enough the past 2 years of people saying our D is set for next year. then why do we keep getting more? Someone tell PC our D is set. our D was set last year. we need a 3rd line, then we need to get shots and they will go in.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

Sorry jim, but Thomas has saved the Bruins some very embarassing losses, but he is not a number one goaltender. He can not carry the load for anymore then about 50 games. If we decide to platoon him with someone, then maybe that will work. But we need a legit number one.
As for the third line, i'd like to see PC bring in a center to replace the one he just sent to St.Louis!!! A guy to center Chistov and Kobasew would give them a good 3rd line.
And the defense is strong. But I think PC will try and snag Phillips if possible, and then maybe trade a d-man for offensive help.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Stu Smallwood said...

The thing is this. In order to get offense you need a good transition game from the back end. You need to have the puck out of your own end. Certainly the forwards could be better. But offense starts with defending. Too often the Bruins are trapped in their own zone. Too much time is wasted, even when they are successful keeping the other teams shots from the outside, which was the case in the Toronto game for example. I do think that given a few more games we might see this defense improve its chemistry and work better. Hopefully then we will see a better transition offense. The one thing that we don't see enough in the other teams zone is traffic in front of the net, etc.

Blocking shots and traffic in front of the net are all things Dave Lewis preaches. When the players actually stick to playing his trap system they actually win games (see recent winning ways prior to last three games - although in Atlanta they played a decent game).

As for Thomas, I agree that he may not be consistently a top ten goalie in the league. He goes through hot streaks. But when he is on his game he is right up there with the dependable net minders. Overall I would say he fits into the top 10-20 category of starting netminders. I can think of a lot of teams whose goaltending is just as, if not more, questionable, certainly. The point is there are only so many great goalies in the league. Thomas fits in somewhere in between in my mind. But certainly he is overworked and they are missing a dependable second option right now. But its hard to just o out and get a star netminder. There wont likely be nay on the market this offseason - Giguere will be locked up by Burke longterm more than likely.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

Boy is this thread getting long. LOL! I agree with the outlet passes, stu. I am also so sick of the dump and chase it make me crazy. I'm hoping one of the new guys will improve on the passes out of our zone. Brad Stuart was good at those, but in the end, his all around play was being effected by the rumors.
I agree that other teams have goaltending problems as bad if not worse then ours. And I tip my hat to Thomas. He plays his ass off EVERY game. I can actualy say he doesn't give up too many soft goals. But he still is not a number one. Would I like to keep him in Boston... HECK YEAH!! But he needs someone to platoon with. He is being over worked, and like I said, he is really only good for about 50 games, productively. If we can get a decent goalie to platoon with him, I think that would work. A guy like Dunham comes to mind for two reasons. One he is a good goalie and can win the big games for you. And two, and most important by B's management, he is cheap. Other guys could be Belfour, Joseph, Thibault, Lalime, and Boucher.
As for Giguere. I think he will be playing for a different team next year. Be it the Bruins, or someone else. I think the Ducks will go with Bryzgalov.
And back to Lewis. There is nothing anyone can say, not Bobby Orr himself, that can make me feel differently about Lewis and his LACK of coaching. I think he can be an assistant, like another poster mentioned in a different post. But he is no where near a Head Coach! Kind of reminds me of Bowness. I'd try for a new coach. Because to be honest, a few times this year, it really looked like the team wasn't playing for him.
I've said O'Reilly, numerous times. I'd even consider Pat Burns again. Talk to Barry Melrose or why not bring Ray Bourque in?
Again... sorry about my long winded rants. And I also do agree with defense builds great teams. I think PC is on the right track. He just might have given up more then he got in the last two deals.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

I'd love to see the Bruins try an outlet pass(thats has to come from the coach), no that doesnt mean skate up to the red line and dump it in. Stuart could move the puck...He was bothered by rumors? there is a way to stop the rumors...sign him!!! Mike Dunham is number one Goaltenter? How is that? Most he has ever won is 23 in a season.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

Well jim, signing him was up to management. So yes, the rumors were bothering him. He even said it in the paper. And as for Dunham, where in my post did it say he was a number one? I said use him to platoon with Thomas. I hink the two of them combined could carry the team a long way.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

i didnt say that they werent bothering him. I implied that one way he wouldnt be bothered by ruomrs is if there were no rumors for him to be bothered by. IE: Sign him. instead PC trades him and says "we didnt think we could sign him" hey PC! did you try?

9:41 AM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

I agree with you there, jim. I've been wondering if PC even sat down with Stuart's agent and asked what it would take.
I'm sorry if my reply came across rude... I did not mean it that way at all.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

no sweat...

10:22 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

I am going to go with Jim on this one partially. The Bruins don't need a number 1, but they do need a solid backup like a Martin Biron or a Chris Mason type guy. The offense isn't a joke, but if they could add one top forward in the FA market, that'd be key.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

Biron is a number one goalie, not a back up. And I also agreed with jim, but I think they need to platoon in net. That way, they wait for Rask or Toivonen to break out. Mason would be good, but Biron would cost too much.

11:12 PM  

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