The 2019 NHL Awards Show happened tonight in Las Vegas and Don Sweeney captured the hardware as the league’s General Manager of the Year as voted on by his peers and a smaller/more select panel of media broadcasters.
Sweeney earned it with a steady, methodical build of the Bruins from an organization that was in disarray at the end of the 2015 season, to coming within one game of a Stanley Cup championship four years later.
To be sure, it hasn’t been perfect- you had the Zac Rinaldo misstep right out of the gate, followed by the well-intentioned but ultimately fruitless Jimmy Hayes trade that sent Reilly Smith to Florida. And of course- you still have people twitching online about the 2015 draft, when the B’s could’ve had Mathew Barzal and Kyle Connor. Or is it Thomas Chabot? Or Travis Konecny or Sebastian Aho or (insert the name of every player taken after the B’s sandwiched Jake DeBrusk between Jakub Zboril and Zach Senyshyn who has had some NHL success to date) but we digress…
You mean to tell us that since two critical veterans went down with significant injuries, the Bruins are 3-0-2 with 8 points out of 10?
And that, dear readers, is why they play the games.
Given the Boston Bruins’ recent run of wins, welcome news despite not having two of the franchise’s faces out for at least 4 weeks or longer: captain Zdeno Chara and defacto captain Patrice Bergeron. The duo of future Hockey Hall of Famers are more than likely at the top of a short list of players that if you polled fans before the season, were the guys the team could least afford to lose for extended stretches of the 2018-19 campaign.
And yet, as the Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close, the B’s pulled out two close wins, a 2-1 OT contest against the underachieving Pittsburgh Penguins at home on Friday and then Saturday night’s 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, helping Boston secure the sixth-best record in the NHL to date. Of course, few would have guessed that the Jeff Skinner-led Buffalo Sabres would be sitting atop the league standings as November comes to a close, but that’s a story for another day.
In the meantime, let us focus on the Bruins and how they’ve put themselves in position to remain competitive despite suffering through some personnel setbacks that would cripple many teams in any league.
Thanks to the requests of multiple blog readers, the 3 Amigos decided to reunite in the offseason and last night, the boys did a solid 70+ minutes worth of hockey talk focusing on the Boston Bruins.
While we won’t be as prolific on the blog as before, this is an opportunity to maintain the connection with those passionate fans who helped support us from 2015 to late summer 2017, when the blog went dormant due to job obligations. The truth is- being at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas served as a good reminder that you can’t completely walk away from that which you have done for the past 18 years. It was summer 2000 when the New England Hockey Journal hired TSP founder Kirk to cover the Bruins, and after covering nearly every draft since then (minus those when overseas), it was strange not to be working at this most recent draft.
Still- am grateful for all the words of support and encouragement, and fortunate to have two good friends in Dom and Reed who agreed to get the Amigos back together and do some more audio work. The best part of it was just being able to interact with them again, and we have some more things in store for future efforts.
So, enough of the background- here’s the audio file and will post it up on Soundcloud as well.
For those who want to download and listen on Soundcloud, go here:
Okay, so we’re a little behind here, but wanted to do a blog post on the Boston Bruins most recent transactions, which includes the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas and free agency, which opened with a boom on Sunday for the Toronto Maple Leafs, landing a true crown jewel in John Tavares, who leaves the NY Islanders in his prime (not yet 28) for his childhood team. The Bruins were in it as a possible Tavares destination, but in hindsight, it was probably the Isles or the Leafs and everyone else didn’t really have a shot. That’s life, but more on that later.
And, if the Isles need some comforting, they had what looks to be a successful draft, leveraging multiple first-round picks and value throughout the subsequent rounds into an impressive haul for them.