The weather here in CT this past weekend didn't help, but I tried to break out of the post game 7 fog and try somehow to look at positives to take into the off-season and re-focus on my beloved teams future.
The Bruins held the annual break out media day today and all the injuries came to light and I have to say, I feel a sense of pride that they forced the game 7 and hung in there for three periods plus.
Now every team has injuries this time of year and most of them aren't announced until the teams have finished their playoff season, but to ravage the top six in the manner in which the Bruins endured shows me a lot of what this team is made of!!!
It was announced today during Chiarelli and Co. presser that David Krecji will require hip surgery, Phil Kessel's shoulder/Rotater cuff surgery will both most likely miss training camp time and the earlier part of next regular season's schedule.
Marc Savard's banged up knee after a knee on knee check from Claude La Rose in game 5, played but apparently was hobbling around the locker room.
Zdeno Chara had several injuries that he was nursing, Chuck Kobasew's cracked ribs forced him to wear a flak jacket and maybe promoted his decision to force his way to the slot area in prime shooting position in game 7's OT but inexplicably make a drop pass to no one!!!
Also Andrew Ference who was banged up much of the year had a tear in his groin that will require surgery, a bruised hip and banged up knee.
Matt Hunwick had his spleen removed in the first round, but I believe was the biggest loss to the roster and Ference's absense compounded this.
Those losses to the roster put far too much pressure on defenseman who aren't accustomed to leading the transition game ie) Hnidy, Ward and Stuart.
This allowed a Carolina team to really focus their forechecking pressure on Wideman and Chara and it really took them off their games quite easily!!!
The other huge injury, but the one that probably had the biggest postive effect was Mark Recchi's. Here is a man with two Stanley cups, a 20+ year career under his belt, playing with bruised ribs and apparently hooked up to an IV after having kidney stone surgery 3 hours prior to game 7!!!
If this didn't inspire the younger Bruins and display exactly the commitment it take to capture Lord Stanley...I'm not sure what will???!!!
I'm sure all of this has been written already in various blogs and hockey rags and the local Boston newspapers, but this one fan needs to tell you how much he now appreciates the character of this team. The youth of the team is promising and it gained valuable experience.
So I change my opinion...I can now confidently say, while I'm disappointed that the B's are not playing tonight against Sid the Kid and the Pens...I'm proud as proud as ever to be a Bruins fan and I believe we have not heard the last from this team!
Next seasons version may be slightly different I'm sure, but hopefully it will be improved upon. Rask will replace Fernandez for sure, Recchi while he indicated he would like to come back next year, may be a cap casualty. The is plenty of youth down the pike and that is a positive!!!
The front office is as stable as it's been in years and the whole coaching staff should remain intact which is just as important ingredient for success as any of the players.
So this years' Bruins team is definitely Big Bad and Bruised...but I'm very excited to see what next year's team has in store for us!!!