(CSNNE.com) “I share the expectations with everybody here that we’ll be in the playoffs,” said Jacobs when asked point blank Tuesday at Media Day what his expectations are for this group. “I expect that we’ll go deep into the playoffs. I think this is a very good mix of young and older, experienced players. I’m looking forward to their going into the playoff season.” – Bruins Owner, Jeremy Jacobs
First and foremost, I am Bruins fan that would want nothing more than for the franchise to have success. I would love the Bruins to make the playoffs this season. For the beer, the entertainment, for the anxiety, just give me some playoff hockey. But maybe I am not your typical fan in the sense that I would still trade a season of mediocrity, or worse, for long term success. The Bruins have a lot of talent coming down the pipe line and I do not want to see it burnt on them making poor personnel decisions that jeopardize the future.
As we know at last season’s trade deadline GM Don Sweeney gave up valuable draft picks for a failed push for the playoffs when the world was screaming don’t buy. Plus, he did not trade his best asset in Loui Eriksson which would have fetched an even greater return. That return, if not a top d-man itself, could have been used or flipped to get a top-4 defenseman this offseason that the B’s desperately need.
Bruins management have been quoted saying that they are done with spreading their talent across the league. So maybe they have learned their lesson? Not so fast my friends. This brings me to the most recent comments made by Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.
Deep down in Jacobs heart does he really think, or even expect, that this Bruins team can make a deep playoff run? It is one thing for a billionaire owner to pipe off to the media and say he expects the Bruins to go on a long playoff run. I get it. He wants to give the media some headline material and get his name in bold print. Fine. But it’s another thing if he truly feels that way to the point that he’s giving management ultimatums on personnel that do more harm than good.
I get that Jacobs wants to make money. That’s his main concern. But I do think it’s a little short sighted to say he expects the team to make a run in the playoffs, let alone get in at all. I think they can get in the postseason but what’s the cost going to be if it’s tight down the stretch?
Wouldn’t it make more sense, and more money long term, to patiently build a team that is going to make the playoffs 10 years in a row? Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to be less concerned with hoping the playoff results of this year make up for the past two. If it’s going to cost you great assets for short term unknowns that could still keep you out of the playoff picture this season and beyond then maybe lay off putting your employees on public blast.
The Bruins have done an excellent job replenishing their farm system. Don Sweeney’s skills in the development are certainly being recognized right now. In today’s NHL it is vitally important to be able to draft and develop well more than ever before. And the Bruins are going to have Bergeron, Marchand, Backes, and Krejci making big money going forward with Pastrnak needing a new deal next off season. It’s important to be able to fill in the gaps in the lineup with some of Sweeney’s homegrown and talented entry level contracts alongside a few low cost veterans.
I don’t want to sound like a “Debbie Downer” here but the Bruins are in the same boat they were last year when they missed the playoffs because the Red Wings had more regulation wins. They are still going to compete for a playoff spot. They have too much talent down the middle and in net not to have a shot. If things go right they could possibly be in the top 3 in the division or even a Wild Card team. I’d love the Bruins to make the playoffs and win a round. But two rounds might be pushing it. Which is why I don’t want to see them sacrifice some of the really good assets that they have finally built up, both in prospects and draft picks, just to get bounced in the first round.
We have said this before here at BostonPucks.com; the future is bright for the Bruins. I just hope the owner has the foresight to see the bright future. It seems all he really sees is the cold hard cash he is losing by not getting a couple home playoff dates to fill the Garden while stealing your paycheck one $9 Bud Light at a time.