The Bruins' broken promise

One would think, as a Sabres fan, that I'd be doing a jig around the house following the Buffalo Sabres' 7-1 manhandling of the Boston Bruins last night. And while I take comfort in knowing that the Blue and Gold snapped a three-game losing streak, I'm also concerned about the direction the Bruins are heading.

Having spent six of the past seven years living in New England, it was hard not to gain an appreciation for the Bruins. Sure, the team is one of my Sabres' sworn mortal enemies, showcased in my mind when a young Jim Schoenfeld sent Wayne Cashman through the Zamboni door. Bottom line, though, is that the Bruins are an Original Six franchise and, unlike the Toronto Maple Leafs, are deserving of respect.

It didn't hurt, too, that the only real attachment to the Bruins is personal in nature.

Last year, I railed mercilessly against the Bruins coach Mike Sullivan, calling three times for his ouster to save the team's season. Instead, the organization traded away its young heart and soul, Joey Thornton. Finally, but only after it was too late, did the Bruins clean out the front office.

This year brought new promise, a new general manager (Peter Chiarelli) and coach (Dave "Yes, he looks like Hitler" Lewis). A true superstar, Zdeno Chara, was signed to bolster the B's defense. A nifty playmaker, Marc Savard, was brought in. The team's young players -- Andrew Alberts, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes Milan Jurcina and Hannu Toivonen -- looked like it would gel into a formidable nucleus. Even a teenager, Phil Kessel, added to the thrill.

Suddenly, members of Bruins Nation, some of the most faithful in the NHL, had reason to believe that this year held the promise for something special. Maybe not the Stanley Cup, but a season that would help eliminate the bitingly sour taste of 2005-06.

This morning, though, Bruins Nation is undoubtedly incensed. After back-to-back drubbings, including a 6-1 spanking at home by the hated New York Rangers, the calls for change -- be it a trade (hopefully, the Bruins learn from mistakes) or Lewis' firing -- are gaining in intensity. It's my guess, too, that attendance, already on the wane, will (rightfully so) continue to slide.

That promise of something special, I'm afraid, hasn't been kept. It's a shame, too. One of hockey's most fabled franchises, as sorry as it may be these days, owes that to its fans. Thankfully, though, I'm not one of them.



Blogger Drew said...

It seems this happens to a lot of Original 6 teams. The Leafs had major problems in the 70's and 80's. Ditto on the Rangers and Wings. And now, it's Chicago and Boston. At least the Wings and Leafs tried to turn things around. It seems like the current Bruins ownership is taking the Gary Bettman New-NHL approach to problems an criticism-- closing their eyes, fingers in ears, and shouting "LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU EVERYTHING IS FINE WITH THE TEAM, I DON'T SEE ANY PROBLEMS, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!"

It's disgusting, but it's the way the league seems to be going.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

And I forgot to mention, I have that Cashman-Schoenfeld hit, as well as the ensuing brawl, all on tape somewhere in my collection.

11:46 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home