Coming into this season, there were low expectations in Boston for their beloved Bruins. Milan Lucic departed in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Dougie Hamilton left for reasons still unknown and Peter Chiarelli was shown the exit and became the GM in Edmonton. On Tuesday night the Bruins were hoping for an early Christmas gift, first place in the Atlantic division. Something that seemed impossible just a couple months ago when the Montreal Canadiens started out the season going 9-0. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be on this night as the St. Louis Blues completely stifled the Bruins and shut them out 2-0.
It is still impressive that the Bruins are even close to Montreal in the standings. The Canadiens have absolutely owned the Bruins for awhile now and if everyone is being honest, they are still the better team at the moment. However, the Bruins are still right there with them in the standings and GM Don Sweeney has some tough decisions to make in the next couple of months. When Sweeney used all three of the Bruins first round draft picks at this year's draft, folks in Boston were gearing up for a rough year. Sure, the team would be decent but the idea of the Bruins competing for a Stanley Cup this year was unrealistic. Now, it seems like Sweeney may have to make some trades for the Bruins to compete in the playoffs.
Even though the Bruins are accumulating points at an impressive rate, there are obvious flaws with the team. Their defense simply will not be good enough come playoff time. It is a tricky situation for the big bad Bruins, because it can be argued that Sweeney and company should remain patient and not go all in this year. I know that is borderline blasphemy to suggest that a team not go all in for the slim chance they have to win the Stanley Cup, but the Bruins have had a hell of a time developing and keeping their own young players. It just may be time to hold on to their prospects and rebuild from within, rather than trade them all away for an overpriced veteran at the trade deadline. Having said that, the Bruins have also been dreadful at drafting young players as of late, so maybe trading them all away isn't such a bad thing. The players that didn't work out were all Chiarelli's picks though, maybe Sweeney will have better luck.