The Boston Bruins lost a key game on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes, this was a must win game for this Bruins team and instead of winning they decided to puke down the front of their sweaters.
A 1-1 loss in a shootout against a team that is statistically eliminated from the playoffs is an embarrassment. The fact that the Bruins were playing at home for this game is even worse, you could hear the fans in the Boston Garden chanting “We Want Playoffs” loudly enough throughout the game that it came through the NESN broadcast. Sadly enough when you look out on the ice this chant and passion from the fans is not translated to many of the players and the coaching staff.
You have to wonder does this team really want the playoffs? Coming into that game the Bruins could control their own destinies if they took out two points and won the next two games. With a loss they Bruins no longer control their own destiny and it now relies on other teams in particular the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers to lose.
What may irritate the Bruins fan base the most about Tuesday's loss is the order that head coach Claude Julian sent out for the shootout. The issue with shootouts is that if you send out a particular order of players and you win you are a genius, but on the flip side if you send that same line out and you lose the shootout you are considered to be a moron. Even after saying that it is tough to not question Claude’s order from Tuesday's night's shootout loss.
The order the Bruins went with on Tuesday was Ryan Spooner, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Loui Eriksson and Torey Krug. Bruins fans are in flames about the fact that Julian did not send out the team's leading goal scorer Brad Marchand who also happens to be top 10 in the NHL for scoring. Julian in his post game interview used the term “hindsight” when talking about the decision making and you know what Claude? That is simply not good enough.
This year Marchand is 0-for-3 in the shootout this season, and Torey Krug has scored at times when called upon in the shootout. But Krug hasn’t scored a goal since early December amidst the worst goal-scoring funk of his NHL career, and Marchand has been one of the best, and most dangerous, players in a Bruins uniform all season long.
You have to send out your best players no matter what, and in a key situation Claude Julian failed to do that. To me last night's decision making by Julian is what he has done throughout his entire career with Boston, whether it be him sending out the fourth line down by a goal late in the game or deciding to leave in his goaltenders despite the game being out of hand.
Claude has made bad decision after bad decision for years with the Bruins. The reason why it is becoming more apparent now is because they are not the same team they where are couple of seasons ago, they now have to squeak out wins and out coach their opponents in certain situations.
Brad Marchand’s biggest role on the team this season has been top goal-scorer, so perhaps it’s time he’s viewed that way by a coaching staff that needs to start featuring him offensively at every turn. The fact that Marchand was not featured in the shootout is conduct detrimental to the team on Julian’s end. It is time to move on from him and now it is clearer than ever, Claude's time here is down and it is time to smell the roses Bruins fans.