These are words/phrases you seldom heard about the Boston Bruins defense over the last 4 years.
However, this season is a different story.
The B’s “D” just seems out of sorts and at times downright lost.
The pre-season trade of Johnny Boychuk was a complete jarring jolt to the Black & Gold’s roster and their play showed it at the beginning of the season (1-3). Johnny Rocket was perceived by many to be a top four defenseman for the Black & Gold this year.
Johnny Boychuk is one of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL as a strong two-way player. He’s entering his sixth season with the Boston Bruins and will play a top-four role on one of the league’s best blue lines.
Peter Chiarelli’s unloading of salary, threw a 500 pound monkey wrench into the defensive pairings and put more pressure on the young d corps (Miller, Hamilton & Krug).
The Bruins GM felt that he could overcome the loss of Boychuk with the team’s blue line depth. Well through 9 games this season, his depth is becoming depleted with the loss of Kevan Miller to a dislocated shoulder and Zdeno Chara suffering a knee injury.
This leaves Dennis Seidenberg, who is still shaking off the rust coming back from a major knee injury. Adam McQuaid, who is a shell of his 2011 (+30) self, playing just 70 total games over the last two plus seasons. Dougie Hamilton, who has struggled mightily with Chara on the team’s top defensive pairing registering a collective – 4. Torey Krug, who is great offensively, but needs a defensive minded partner to cover up his mistakes. And Matt Bartkowski is the equivalent of a 43 car pile up.
Granted, there are over 73 games left in the season, but there is a pattern developing with the once solid defensive corps of the Boston Bruins….they are SLOPPY in their own end. They are coughing up the puck in front of their own net, leaving Rask & Svedberg out to dry.
And to add insult to injury, the defending Selke trophy winner, Patrice Bergeron appears to be human and is struggling as well. He is actually a minus player right now.
They are far from BIG & BAD right now and a big part of that mindset is now wearing the blue, white & orange of the New York Islanders.
If you are a Bruins fan, be concerned and scared. This is not the exception, this looks like the rule.
And you can thank Mr. Peter Chiarelli for doing a great job managing the salary cap as owner Jeremy Jacobs so eloquently put it.