BOSTON (CBS) – Boston fans were begrudgingly forced to watch the final two rounds of the NHL Playoffs without their beloved Bruins, a team that finished the regular season with the league’s highest point total and best record.
At Tuesday night’s NHL Awards, the Bruins were the team to take home the most coveted trophies. Goaltender Tuukka Rask won his first Vezina Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s best regular season goalie. Rask was also named first team All-NHL.
Forward Patrice Bergeron captured his second Selke Trophy, which is “given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” The 28-year-old also won the 2013-14 NHL Foundation Player Award and the NHL 15 cover vote, beating out rival P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens.
Zdeno Chara finished second in the Norris voting, but was named first team All-NHL alongside teammate Tuukka Rask.
Defenseman Torey Krug was also honored as a first team All-Rookie selection.
Best regular season record and all that talent — plus the recognition and numerous accolades given to the Bruins’ three best players — to come up short in the postseason must make Bruins fans crazier than Cuba Gooding Jr.
Eric Wilbur of Boston.com joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show Wednesday night to discuss this painful dynamic.
“It just felt weird. Tuukka and Patrice got those honors last night in Vegas and good for them. But when you look at the litany of where the Bruins placed in all these awards seen by their peers and other general managers, it just kind of reached a level of nauseous. You realize how good the Bruins were last season and they just couldn’t get over that hump of the Montreal Canadiens.”
Wilbur acknowledges that the Bruins top-to-bottom have one of the best rosters in the National Hockey League, but that doesn’t mean you can’t revamp your club this offseason.
“When you look at the team constituted it is one of the best in the NHL. No question. So I do think when you look at [the NHL Awards] it justifies Peter Chiarelli and Cam Neely wanting to keep this band together and make another run. But at what point does the band go stale and age themselves out of contention? I just think you have to stay fresh. You have to mix new blood in every now and then.”
Wilbur criticized the comments made by Peter Chiarelli earlier this week, in which the general manager said he’s planning on staying the course and making minor changes rather than any one big splash.
“I think the way Chiarelli is approaching free agency this summer he’s using the salary cap as an excuse rather than get creative and clear some room by making trades. When they won the Stanley Cup in 2011 they were aggressive. They went out and got Nathan Horton. They went out and got Dennis Seidenberg. They revamped their roster by getting the players they needed. I’m seeing a lot less of that from Chiarelli these days.
“It just seems like the Bruins are content with looking back with that they have and thinking it’s good enough. At some point clearly it’s not going to be,” Wilbur concluded.
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