There’s no denying that the Boston Bruins have succumbed to the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover.
The bright lights and loud noises of NHL arenas have bothered a team trying to recover from one of the most remarkable playoff runs in franchise history.
The only difference is that there has been no trouble recalling “the night before” that has led to the Bruins’ hangover.
After an emotional banner-raising ceremony, a trip to Gillette Stadium with the Cup and a ring ceremony, last year’s accomplishment is anything but stale in the minds of players and fans alike.
However, we’re now eight games into the 2011-2012 season and things look anything but satisfactory at the Garden.
Despite three solid wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs, the boys in black and gold have yet to string together back-to-back wins this season.
In Tuuka Rask’s two starts this season, Tim Thomas’ trusty backup has been spotted a whopping one goal in 120 minutes of action, a similar trend to what the Finnish netminder saw last season.
Not only have the Bruins failed to produce with Rask in the net, the team has struggled to find the back of cage in general.
Through eight games, Boston has scored just 18 goals. Not what you’d expect out of the fifth-highest scoring team in the NHL last season.
Fans waited for 39 years in the city of Boston to call Lord Stanley their own once again. However, that does not mean they’re content to wait nearly another four decades to bring it back.
This team has the talent and core players to win at least one more championship in the next few years.
In this city, however, fans and media alike aren’t shy about expressing how they feel about their teams. Those expressions usually entail trading away pieces and bringing in fresh blood.
However, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has to realize that this team doesn’t need fresh blood to get it going.
They return nearly the entire championship roster, minus key contributors in Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle.
However, there’s plenty of positives to take out of the season thus far with this squad.
Second-year sensation Tyler Seguin is leading the team in points through eight games and has entered his second season looking sharper, bigger, faster and smarter.
Tim Thomas has similar numbers to last year’s stellar campaign and has shown no signs of slowing down.
New additions Joe Corvo and Benoit Pouliot have started to settle in and look more comfortable despite the lack of production through the early part of the season.
However, the most important aspect of this season so far has been this team’s competition level. They understand it’s not there yet, but have shown grit and determination.
So, instead of making roster moves and shaking things up, there’s just three words needed:
Patience, Peter, patience.
Corey Hanlon may be reached at email@example.com