Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has just about seen enough.
The Bruins are coming off arguably their worst game of the season — no small feat given how 2014-15 has played out so far — and all indications are that Chiarelli is looking to retool his roster. Until he’s able to make any sort of a move, though, he can only wait and see if his team will turn things around.
Chiarelli told The Boston Globe recently that Bruins players “absolutely” should be feeling uncomfortable with their play of late and with potential moves on the horizon.
“There were times in the first period (Sunday against Carolina) where it was tough to take,” Chiarelli told the Globe, in reference to the team’s shootout loss to the lowly Hurricanes. “We knew it was going to be tough. We’re in a back-to-back situation. The other team isn’t. We have to get through that period. I thought we should have had a better push.”
With Chiarelli and president Cam Neely making a rare road game appearance, the Bruins went almost the entire first period without a shot on goal.
“It impacts the rest of the game,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve seen a few those of periods in this three-game stretch. It’s disappointing. We’re still treading water, and that’s not acceptable. That’s the common denominator in those three games. You look at the Detroit game (a win Dec. 29), you see energy and a consistent forecheck. That’s what we have to get to.”
The problem for Chiarelli and the Boston hockey operations department is clear. Something needs to change, but if the Bruins trade away pieces of a core they’ve valued in recent years, they risk potential long-term disruption. But if they stand pat and things don’t get better, they’ll almost certainly fall far short of reasonably high expectations.
Throw in the club’s salary cap issues, and Chiarelli is in quite the pickle.
“It’s never fun to be in this situation — to try and improve your roster when you’re not in a real position of strength,” Chiarelli told The Boston Globe. “There’s not a lot of activity going around. But you try and peck away and try to improve your team. At the same time, you hope these guys can string a couple games together. We have to watch this closely.”
Things won’t get any easier any time soon, either. Over the course of their next six games, the Bruins have to play Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay (both Eastern Conference powers) as well as Columbus and the New York Rangers (combined 16-1-3 in their last 20 respective games).
Thumbnail photo via Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports Images