Okay, it’s time to take a serious look at the Boston Bruins. After getting completely outworked in Anaheim the Bruins currently have a 7-7-4 record, which ranks 26th in the NHL. The Bruins have lost 4 out of 5 games and both Brad Marchand and budding rookie Anders Bjork have been placed on injured reserve. Now the question becomes what do the Bruins do from here?
Push for a Playoff Spot
Now the Bruins as an organization have always made it quite clear that they want to be in the playoffs no matter what. It’s quite clear that was the goal entering this season before the injury bug ravished the roster. But even with the absurd amount of injuries, the Bruins could, and probably will, make a push for a playoff spot. This is mainly because the Bruins want to sell tickets and keep the TV ratings up.
The Bruins are attempting to rebuild on the fly while remaining relevant in the mind of sports fans. As a result, the Bruins have enough talent on the team, if they can get a few bodies back to make a push. A hot month or two could put the Bruins right back into the thick of things. There is value in making the playoffs for the Bruins this season. Its always good to get the young kids some experience in prime time.
Bruins fans are going to have a hard time swallowing this pill. But the best option for the Bruins is to tank. Let’s be realistic, the Bruins at full strength are a fringe playoff team. Let alone with half the roster out, the Bruins have dug themselves into a to steep a hole to make up. Now it’s time for Sweeney to make the tough call for the better of the team. It’s been proving on multiple occasions that building on the fly in the NHL is extremely difficult. On top of that Sweeney has done nothing to inspire confidence that he can build a capable team.
For Bruins fans on the fence about tanking, would you rather be the Maple Leafs or the Bruins right now? Its obviously the Maple Leafs for one reason: Austin Matthews. How did the Maple Leafs get him? Oh yeah, by tanking. That’s what makes the future bright for the Maple Leafs. While the Bruins have talent coming through the system, they don’t have a stud forward, especially at the center position. Brady Tkachuk is a 6-3, 194 pound center coming out of Boston College that the Bruins should target in the draft. He is ranked as the best center in the draft and the second best forward behind Andrei Svenchnikov.
The Bruins need to tank and go get themselves a stud in the draft. Tkachuk is a gritty young center who has the mental makeup to play and thrive at the NHL level, and is expected to go fourth or fifth in the draft. Now Sweeney needs to realize his goal should be getting Tkachuk or maybe even Rasmus Dahlin, the highly touted defenseman. That’s why the Bruins need to sell off pieces such as Riley Nash, Zdeno Chara, Adam Mcquaid, and David Krejci (if anyone will take him). Go full tank mode get a stud forward into the system, allow the young players to grow at the NHL level and plan for the next three years not just this season.
This is a crucial time for the Sweeney/Neely era. Selling pieces off will put them under fire but holding onto them may cost a shot at a potential stud.