So the NHL season is more than half over, and the Bruins sit
near the top of the Eastern Conference yet again. The B's have played some of
the most solid and complete hockey of any team in the NHL this year, resulting
in 43 points through 29 games played. Yet it can be argued that something is missing
from this team. Do they have a sniper that can bury the puck consistently as
the games wind down and points become more and more valuable?
The suggestion that the team needs an upgrade on their top
two lines is in no way a shot at the players that occupy those spots. The Seguin, Marchand Bergeron line is one of the most dominate and dynamic in the NHL, and certainly mixing
around those 3 would probably not be in the best interests of the team. However,
the 1st line for the team has not consistently played at a first line level
through almost 30 games. There are 19 games left in the year. David Kerjci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton sit at 24, 17, and 16 points, respectively. Lucic and Horton have struggled to score on a consistent
clip. In a shortened season and points being as important as they are, the
Bruins could certainly use an upgrade on offense.
The name that has been thrown around since nearly the
off season two years ago is Jarome Iginla. The question is, what would it take Calgary
to give up their franchise player? The team sits dead last in the West, tied
with Colorado with 26 points. People think it would take an arm and a leg for
the Flames to trade away their best player in the past 20 years, but I am not one
of them. Even though it was under different circumstances, just last summer the
Rangers acquired Rick Nash from Columbus for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov (ANISIMOV?!)
a 1st Rd pick and a prospect. Now Dubinsky and Anisimov are solid players, but
they are not the best the Rangers had to offer. People always assume that for a
trade to go down, one team needs to unload their best assets. But every few
years (Ahem, Gasol to the Lakers...) a trade happens that blindsides fans and
makes them wonder "how in the world could they have agreed to that?"
The Bruins are in a unique position. It
is almost extinct now in the modern NHL, save for the Red Wings, where a team consistently
wins at the highest level. Stanley Cups are the hardest championships to win in
sports. It is because of the nature of the game: goalies get hot, the puck
bounces the wrong way, a player gets caught out of position on a line change. Hundreds
of things can go wrong in a quest for a Title, and for the Bruins, the time is
now. If Peter Chiarelli can pull of a trade that brings an Iginla-type to Boston for the stretch run, he has to pull the
trigger. He did the same in 2011, and the Bruins won their first Cup in 39
years. People cannot be concerned about the prospects that he may give up.
Those players will pan out 2-3 years down the road. The Bruins have to gun for
the Title this year. They cannot hold anything back.
If the team sits idle at the deadline and flame out a second consecutive year in the playoffs, the Bruins brass will catch some serious heat.
The time is now to go
for a 2nd Title in three years, as nothing is guaranteed in the NHL. Just ask
Pittsburgh. In 2009, after they beat the Wings in Game 7, the talk of a new
Dynasty was all the rage. Since then, the Penguins have not made it back to the
Eastern Finals. Albeit a variety of factors have derailed their quests for another Title, the point remains. It is a perfect example of
how teams cannot be passive.
The Bruins have to win now, and not be concerned so much
about the future that would inhibit them from pulling off a deadline steal that can put them back on top in 2013.