For the past four or five seasons, the Boston Bruins have consistently been the best team in the Eastern Conference. This season many of us expected more of the same. Even when the Bruins started off slowly we all thought it was just a matter of time until they got healthy and took over the Atlantic Division.
Well, the Bruins have played 34 games and they're still on the outside looking in, which begs the question: What's going on in Boston?
The thinking for most of this season was to let the injured guys get back in the lineup. Key players like Zdeno Chara and David Krejci have missed significant time. But Boston's injured players are largely back now and even after an overtime win Sunday night, the Bruins are still struggling.
I think a lot of it has to do with the talent that's left Boston in the last season or so. We all know about the trade that sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars, and you can't underestimate the importance of that move, but this is a team that also traded Johnny Boychuk prior to this season because of cap reasons, thinking a young defenseman could take his place. None of those guys have replaced the grit or snarl of Boychuk. Adam McQuaid and Chara have both been hurt and suddenly this is a totally different defense. Then you take away an injured Krejci and you let Jarome Iginla leave this offseason and suddenly you've got a lot of talent to replace.