A few of us here at SB Nation decided to fill some dead time this summer by posing some questions to a different hockey blog in the network. By some mathematical formula slightly more complicated than QB Passer Rating the bloggers were matched up and we here at Mile High Hockey were paired up with the fine Bruins' blog, Stanley Cup of Chowder. I asked them some questions about the B's, which was cool because I, as a New Englander, have a passing familiarity with the team. SCoC's answers to my questions can be found below. As a return favor, I answered some Avalanche queries which can be found here.
Question: I know that after some lean seasons, getting 116 points and advancing to the 2nd round of the playoffs has to be considered a success for the Bs. But what happened against Carolina? The team looked so dominant against Montreal and then...
Answer: I think the biggest difference between the Montreal series and the Carolina series came on the blue line. The Bruins were already down a defenseman when Matt Hunwick went down with a ruptured spleen in Montreal series and then Andrew Ferrence suffered an injury in the Carolina series. So, now the B's had to dress Steve Montador and Shane Hnidy in place of two guys that can move the puck better. The Bruins struggled at times all season when the a team threw an aggressive forechecking scheme at them and the Hurricanes pressured the puck well in their offensive zone and the forced the Bruins D-men to cough up the puck. I think that was the biggest difference in the series.
Question: When I feel like killing a few brain cells, I turn on WEEI in the car. Even during the playoffs, the Bruins seemed to get little coverage after the Sox, Pats and Celtics. Am I just perceiving that wrong? Is the popularity of the Bruins rising in Beantown or do they need to win a Cup for the public to embrace them again?
Answer: The popularity of the Bruins definitely increased some this season with their new found success, but they still have a long way to go to become completely relevant in this town. Part of that is the other 3 teams recent success, some of that is some much-deserved scorn for Jeremy Jacobs, and some of it is probably the fact that the NHL as a whole has become somewhat of a niche sport. The guys from WEEI hardly ever talk hockey with the exception of Dale & Holley. A new CBS-owned FM sports station in Boston is launching next week that will be airing the Bruins games, so hopefully since they have that connection there will be more puck talk.
Question: What the hell is up with Phil Kessel? I don't mean the contract thing. I want to know why his hockey pants are always ripped up the inseam. Can't he afford a good tailor?
Answer: A lot of guys rip their pants so they can move more freely...or the Jacobs family is cutting costs again. One of the two.
Question: Back in the day, I was quite critical of the Joe Thornton trade. With the added benefit of hindsight, how do you think that deal looks for the B's today?
I still think that Joe Thornton was the scapegoat for some bad decisions by the front office coming out of the lockout. I guess in the long run, it freed up space to build this team.
Question: As an Avalanche fan, I'm still upset at how RBK ruined our jerseys. On the flip side, the Bruins ended up with one of the nicer jerseys in this terrible new RBK era. How did that happen and how is that fair?
I love the B's new lace up jersey, especially the home black jerseys. With the Original 6 teams, I think they wanted to keep the look simple and clean. The Avs are named after a natural disaster, so maybe they wanted the jerseys to stay with that theme. On a side note: I always thought that the Avs black helmets and pants clash with the rest of their uniforms. They look like a bunch of beer leaguers that bought black gear because they didn't know what color jersey they would be wearing this season.
Question: In a related note, do you miss the old yellow thirds?
Nobody misses the smiling Winnie the Pooh third jerseys. Those things were hideous.