We try to be positive here at Days of Y’Orr. Sure, we make fun of certain players sometimes but we like to think we’re not the type of fans that sound like we’re ready to jump off the Tobin every time the Bruins lose a game or make a mistake. We try to be rational and logical despite all the whining we do. But after listening to Peter Chiarelli’s press conference yesterday, it is hard to stay positive. Maybe we interpreted the whole thing wrong. Maybe we’re still a little too sensitive after the Game 7 loss. But really Peter? After the jump, we get worried: We’re not in the crowd that feels Julien and Chiarelli should apologize to fans. At least not for the collapse. Really, what good does that do? But what really stuck out with us, and apparently almost everyone else who heard the audio from that press conference, was Chiarelli and Julien’s refusal to publicly let the players know that the way they played in games 4-6 and most of 7 is completely, totally, 100% unacceptable.
“The variance between the ups and downs was too much,” said Chiarelli. “We will look to make some changes. We’ll go through the normal process of meeting with our pro scouts. We’ll meet with Claude and his staff. We’ll be talking about the makeup of the team, personnel, style.”
Well Chia-pet, your team displayed the same exact lack of heart, grit and determination in the second round last year that it displayed this year and you barely made any changes. Why not hold them accountable? How about getting your team some heart. These are adults. This isn’t some stupid middle school class room where you have to tip toe around everyone’s feelings and kiss their asses so they feel special. Call them out. If they don’t like it, too bad. They get paid millions of dollars. If they can’t take some criticism, they shouldn’t be playing. Fans spend their hard earned money on tickets, jerseys, sticks, pucks, autographs and inflatable nude Chara dolls and in return we get a team that plays like they don’t give a shit. Don’t give us the injury excuse. No team in the playoffs is healthy. Injuries don’t prevent you from trying. The complacency and lack of determination stems from the top.
“In the last two years, I don’t want to highlight the fact, but in the last two years we’re one of fives teams to have been in the second round both years,” Chiarelli said yesterday.
That is NOT an achievement. So blowing a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 lead in Game 7 is okay because you made it to the second round again? The Bruins are in the middle of a 38 year Cup drought and you’re avoiding making anyone in the organization take responsibility and trying to say making the second round is an achievement. The problem here is that Chiarelli is taking the Office Space approach. He and the Bruins management and coaching staff are breeding a culture in the locker room that thinks it is okay to do the bare minimum to get by. Only 15 pieces of flair are required? Okay, I’ll stop there! If your management and coaching staff thinks losing in the second round is an achievement of sorts, what message does that send to the rest of the team?
“Since I’ve been here we’ve had a plan to inject younger players into the line-up, but our objective is to win a Cup.”
Oh really? So thats why Ryder is getting $4 million a year and the ever injured, below average, tree hugging hippy Andrew Ference just got a brand new, 3-year deal with a cap hit of $2.25 million a year? A 31 year old defenseman who can’t stay on the ice, and when he is on the ice opposing scorers salivate, shows that your objective is to win the Cup? Mark Stuart will be a restricted free agent July 1st and Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg will be unrestricted free agents. All three are leagues better than Andrew Ference. All three will throw a hit and are positionally sound. But you sign Andrew Ference? And if you signed Ference to that deal, what makes you think Stuart, Boychuk and Seidenberg aren’t going to want even more? You set the bar Chiarelli and now you’re handcuffed. Us fans can only hope they take a discount. Dennis Wideman sucked for the vast majority of the season. Michael Ryder sucked for the vast majority of the season. What happens to them? Nothing. Nothing at all. Shawn Thornton busts his ass every shift. Every. Single. Shift. Sure, Ryder and Wideman have more “talent.” But Thornton is a heart and soul guy who gets benched when he makes a few mistakes. So, you don’t have the nuts to bench under performing, overpaid “stars” of the team, but you’ll bench a guy who leaves everything he has on the ice? This is like telling your team it is okay to not try but as long as you have a hefty salary and a 30 goal season 17 years ago you’ll continue to get ice time. Breeding failure and acceptance of doing the bare minimum in the locker room.
We want to get excited about the potential that a Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall will bring to the Bruins. But if the Bruins are shooting for just the bare minimum and have a locker room attitude that reflects that, these young players are going to be trained in a losing atmosphere. Chiarelli also mentioned that the Bruins were probably not going to be active in the free agent market but instead would look internally or explore trades. What exactly are you going to trade Peter? Blake Wheeler? Does he even play for the Bruins anymore? I bet teams are lining up to trade for a guy who’s as big as Wheeler but refuses to throw a hit or go to the dirty areas and disappears completely in the playoffs. Michael Ryder? Yeah, that $4 million price tag for his output is quite the steal! What a deal Peter!!! Tim Thomas? He’s been one of the goats of the season. His decline isn’t really his fault. Fans and media built him up last year into something he’s not. He’s had one spectacular year in an otherwise average career. But Peter Chiarelli still thought it was a good idea to give a then 35 year old Thomas a 4-year, $20 million dollar deal. Good luck moving that if Rask is the real deal and you need to free up cap space. Everything that came out of Chiarelli’s mouth was crap. With his attitude, the Bruins will be lucky to win the Cup as long as he’s at the helm. Excuses, excuses, excuses and no accountability for this team. That is sad. Blake Wheeler is also a restricted free agent this summer. He was abysmal in the playoffs. How was he rewarded? Bumped up to the first line for a critical Game 7. Genius. It worked out splendidly. Oh wait… Wheeler’s agent is already looking at bigger houses. Chiarelli is probably driving up a truck full of money right now to pay for yet another disappointing player. But hey, they made the second round, so it is okay!
Is it possible to send Chiarelli, some picks and some prospects to Pittsburgh for Ray Shero? Bruins management gives out bad deals, doesn’t reward those who deserve it and is okay with barely getting by. The owners quite clearly don’t care about a Cup. The GM quite clearly doesn’t care or doesn’t know how to make the correct moves to get a Cup. The coach increases ice time for under performing players and reduces ice time for lower paid players who are playing well. And that attitude trickles into the locker room? No one above them in the organization cares, so why should the players? Perhaps that is a bit harsh. Some of them obviously care. But the Bruins are an organization that is perfectly okay with coming to work with only 15 pieces of flair while other teams are constantly looking for more flair. Words mean nothing Mr. Chiarelli. Show us some action. Please. You’re turning our team into a joke.