Last week, I gave my input on how I thought the NHL trade deadline went for the Bruins. I thought that the acquisition of John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak were the wrong moves, given how much we gave up for them and how un-sure the contract situation was for Loui Eriksson.
I didn’t WANT to get rid of Eriksson, but I figured the team HAD to in order to better the future of the team. I saw his cap hit as a crutch, and didn’t want that burden on the team that’s struggling and needs some sort of a face lift. I like Eriksson and I see him as an important player, especially this season. However, his previous seasons weren’t what was expected, and the multiple concussions are a cause for concern.
I didn’t think that Stempniak and Liles were good fits for this team. Liles isn’t as productive lately as he used to be, and his numbers have only been at a stand-still. Stempniak’s point totals haven’t screamed out at you like one would hope. Yes, his numbers with the Devils were good, but that’s a whole different team with a whole different roster.
Both players also have been shopped around on every team they’re on, so there’s the concern with why didn’t teams keep them.
Also, when bringing up age, you can be over 30 and still be in your prime. Yet if you’ve already hit your prime, then you reach above 30 years old, it’s a whole different scenario. I figured that were true to everyone, and I shouldn’t have.
And here we are 5 games after the deadline. 4 wins and one loss.
I admit, I was very wrong in how I interpreted this new team, and now I love it.
There’s a new atmosphere to the team, and they don’t just lay down and die whenever a team starts fighting back.
These are three of the five games since the deadline:
All three of these specific games were against serious Cup contenders, and they did not go as expected. Critics knew the Bs would be a challenger in each game, but not come close to a win. The Bruins have had issues with playing a full 60 minutes, and if you can’t play full games against Cup contenders you will lose decisively.
These games, with the exception of maybe 5-10 minutes total per game, were fully played and were some of the best games I’ve seen all season.
Now I’m all for this team. Stempy is on the first line with Marchy and Bergy, and has 1-5 – 6 points since his arrival with this team. That goal coming as a game winning snip against Florida.
Liles has two assists, one being an absolute beautiful sauce to Eriksson against Chicago, and has definitely helped the team on defense with his calmness and thought-out movement on the breakout.
Another note: Noel Acciari is a huge bright spot for our future. He was called up from the Providence Bruins at the deadline and has notched an assist with an average of something around 10 minutes. That’s not much, but the kid seems legit so far and is looking great with Ferraro and Connolly on the fourth line.
Bottom line, this is a better team after the deadline.
P.S.: With how Kevan Miller has been playing lately, having him back would be even better. So far his injury is still listed as a day to day shoulder injury, while he just started skating again he’s not close to game ready. He’s stepped up as of late and is being the good defenseman that people, including myself, don’t always give him credit for.