There are plenty of people who would say change is never good. Boston Bruins fans’ tended to have a strong reaction to the addition of the Detroit Red Wings after the conclusion of last season; realizing that another team based on skill and speed was joining the Bruins division. The Bruins struggled mightily against the Red Wings this season(1-3-0 in 4 games) before getting the best of them in a 5 game opening round series. However, the Bruins ultimately had their season ended by another team predicated on speed and skill; the Montreal Canadiens.
Following the Bruins exit, GM Peter Chiarelli made several comments regarding players such as Brad Marchand and Shawn Thornton which questioned the need for their pugilistic and antagonistic approaches to the game. Chiarelli went even further and suggested the Bruins were moving away from the style of player that Shawn Thornton based off of where hockey is trending.
Given the comments made by Chiarelli, one must wonder if these were comments born out of an emotional reaction just having suffering a loss and not meeting expectation for their season, or if there are truly bigger changes on the horizon.
Now the core of this team will be intact next year, however the Bruins have several free agents entering this offseason and based off of the events of this past season and for a team that has been predicated on toughness and grit for the last several years. Yet, with the influx of speed and skill players in their newly arrived decision, it could be seen as prudent for the Bruins to ensure they can match up with these teams.
It is not 100 percent certain, but with the road to the Stanley Cup Finals now requiring escaping out of your division, the Bruins could be on the verge of facing a yearly Detroit/Montreal series for the foreseeable future. The amount of free agents on this roster coupled with what sounded like doubt and uncertainty from Chiarelli could mean the Bruins are at a crossroads about something it seemed they have been certain about since the administration took over; the profile of what makes a Bruin.
The amount of missed opportunities coupled with the inability to finish could mean the Bruins are increasing the value on pure skill and talent and the ability to score goals. Only time will tell to see what Chiarelli and management do in what could be an offseason characterized by change when all is said and done.