BOSTON (CBS) – The Bruins were deemed the team to beat in the NHL after finishing the regular season with the best record, but an early round exit at the hands of the rival Canadiens has fans second-guessing the makeup of the roster.
Factor in the new playoff format that all but ensures a meeting with Montreal — a team that out-coached, out-skated, and out-played the Bruins in seven games — and the logical realization is that the hometown team may not be constructed in a way that’s conducive to beating the Habs in the postseason.
NESN analyst Billy Jaffe joined 98.5 The Sports Hub Toucher & Rich in studio Thursday morning to dissect and analyze the Bruins’ 3-1 Game 7 loss to the Canadiens, and look to the future to see what, if any changes are on the horizon.
“Rigor mortis hasn’t even set in yet and we’re already talking about the future?” joked Jaffe to start the discussion.
“Not everybody will be back. If you’re talking about specific moves I don’t have a crystal ball. There’s some question marks regarding two veteran players that jump out at you and that’s Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton.
“I’d be shocked if there wasn’t a move or two with the defensemen. They’re gonna have to add some quickness as far as I’m concerned. They were slower than Montreal, so obviously they’re gonna want to add some of that. There’s definitely going to be a few moves, there always are.”
Jaffe noted that it’s much harder to shake up your roster and rebuild post-lockout because many teams locked up their young stars to long term deals before the work stoppage hit, so finding and signing that budding, or proven star in the prime of his career will be tough to come by.
Even though it’s hard to rebuild and retool on the fly, Jaffe thinks the Bruins organization is not the type to be passive and will make any and all necessary changes this summer.
“You’ve got to be shrewd in trades. I think (general manager) Peter [Chiarelli] and (president) Cam [Neely] and all the rest of the management is pretty good about that. I think they’ll make some moves in that regard. There’s gonna be a few changes. No question.”
One glaring problem fans are pointing to is the lack of production from the Bruins’ first line against Montreal, and Jaffe says that is something that will be taken into consideration this offseason.
“Playoff time that line didn’t come through. I’m guessing that line will be looked at significantly. You’re not going to blow up the team, they just had a bad playoff here.
“I thought the Bruins were the better team. I was wrong. They were not the better team this series, and that top line will take a lot of heat for it and they should — they’re the leaders of this team.”
Defensemen Adam McQuaid (ankle) and Dennis Seidenberg (ACL/MCL) are both under contract and there appears to be a log jam at the position going into next season.
Jaffe says other teams around the league would “salivate” if they knew certain Bruins defenseman were available for trade, and added that he’d be surprised if Chiarelli stood pat and wasn’t involved in some type of deal.
Listen below for the full discussion: