Finally a stake was driven through the heart of that vampire (vampire’s are still “in” right?!) The Bruins run finally came to an end last night, and I really believe after seeing some of them interviewed after the game they were in total shock. Tukka Rask sounded like it was a regular season loss to the Sabres, not being closed out in the Stanley Cup final. It won’t be an easy loss for the B’s to get over, but they’ll be back because they’re just simply a miserable matchup.
This isn’t the most talented team in the league. They’re up there, but they don’t matchup with Chicago’s talent or Pittsburgh talent or even the Caps talent. But what really hit me during this run is that they have pieces that you can’t match. There isn’t a poor man’s Zdeno Chara out there. With Chris Pronger done, there simply isn’t another d-man out there that is close to what Chara is.
Milan Lucic. There is no poor man’s Milan Lucic in the NHL. Every year since about 2009 teams in the draft aren’t looking for another Malkin or Stamkos, they’re looking for another Lucic. Zach Kassian was picked 12th overall in hopes that he could be another Lucic. Last year Tom Wilson went 16th overall in hopes that he could be another Milan Lucic. He has a skill set that is just unmatched. A heavyweight who is a 1st line player. How do you matchup with that?
Brad Marchand is another guy like this. Sure there are other pests out there. I won’t go as far to say that you can’t find a poor man’s Brad Marchand, but pests that can play aren’t easy to find. And Marchand isn’t the type of pest that hits and runs like a Matt Cooke or Alex Burrows. Marchand will take a swing at a big guy and get in anyone’s face. Yes he’s cheap, and dirty, and has his coming to him someday. But the kid has heart. Its a case of he will do ANYTHING to win. There isn’t another pest in the league who comes close to his skill or his drive.
And beyond all those guys they’re great in the positions you need to be great. Between the pipes, even though I rolled my eyes at how much some of the media was drooling over Tukka Rask during these playoffs when it was more a case of the Bruins team defense not allowing any decent scoring chances, he is still one of the best in the leauge.
Patrice Bergeron is one of the best 2 way centers in the game, David Krejci is a damn good 2 way center too and between them they really don’t have a number 1 guy. Simply 2 great centers who can matchup against any other center in the league. And beyond those 2 they have some good role guys down the middle in Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell. But what I really like is that they dress about 6 guys a night that can play the middle. Seguin is a natural center, and Rich Peverly can step in like he did once Campbell went down. I always preach being great down the middle and this team definitely is that.
Then the blueline beyond Chara is deep, physical, and moves the puck well. They were healthy scratching Wade Redden and Dougie Hamilton most of the playoffs. I know Redden isn’t what he used to be but he is still capable of being a 5/6 guy on a team like the Bruins, and Dougie Hamilton was right up there with Jonas Brodin and Justin Schultz as a top rookie d-man this season. That’s insane depth and in the playoffs you really need depth like that on the blueline.
So they’ll be back. This teams system is still pretty full, and really other than Chara their core is still pretty young. They do a great job developing guys, and they’ll live off the 06 draft for a long time (Rask, Seguin, Hamilton, Lucic and Marchand were essentially added that day….sorry Leaf fans). This team is setup for a long time and is tough as hell to knock off when they’re on their game. I say I don’t think the Hawks have won their last Cup with their core….well I don’t think the Bruins core will be statisfied with 2 finals appearances and only 1 Cup either.
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