With less than two weeks to go before the NHL trade deadline (March 2), not to mention only 25 games remaining in the 2014-15 regular season, the Bruins picked a bad time to play their worst hockey. So far, Boston’s five-game road trip to Canada and the Midweest has been nothing short of a disaster as they got blown out by Vancouver 5-2 last Friday, blew a three-goal lead and lost on a fluky goal in OT to Calgary 4-3 on Monday and dropped the longest shootout in Bruins history 4-3 to the Oilers on Wednesday after rallying from two goals down. Boston is riding a season-worst five-game losing streak (0-3-2) and given their current state, it’s hard to picture them getting points in either St. Louis (37-16-4) on Friday (8, NESN) or Chicago (35-18-5) on Sunday afternoon (3, NBC) before they finally return home.
After not scoring in 12 rounds of a shootout and losing to the second-worst team in the NHL (Edmonton), it has reached the point where you wonder what head coach Claude Julien or goaltender Tuukka Rask (who has appeared in 15 straight games) can even say anymore. “We’re not going to stand here and think that we’re doing ok,” said Julien after the loss to the Oilers. “We’re underachieving right now and our game’s got to get better. I still feel we’ve got the group in there to make it better, so it’s up to us to take charge.”
It’s easy to forget at this moment but this is the same team that won the Eastern Conference in 2013 and had the most points in the NHL last season to capture the President’s Trophy before losing in the second round of the playoffs to Montreal. The Tyler Seguin trade has been a well-documented flop, not re-signing Jarome Iginla (who would be their leading goal-scorer this season) and dealing Johnny Boychuk right before this campaign certainly didn’t help matters. NHL reporter Darren Dreger mentioned on NBCSN during intermission of Wednesday’s Red Wings-Blackhawks game that if Boston misses the playoffs (they are in eighth place in the East, three points ahead of Florida), it could cost GM Peter Chiarelli and Julien their respective jobs.
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Everyone is clamoring for the Bruins to make a trade, but with just under $2 million of cap space left, there really aren’t many blockbuster options.
“It’s going to be a fight until the end,” noted captain Zdeno Chara. “We are not a group that’s going to give up. We’re going to fight for every point in every game.”