If last night’s Bruins game felt like a ride on Space Mountain followed by a Tommorowland spew, then the post-game trade chasing was like being padlocked on one of those Busch Gardens motherfuckers on a stomach full of castor oil and raw eggs.
First, the Bs gagged away yet another two-goal lead in the final stanza only to lose in the shootout to their hated rivals. And though he gave up five goals, I don’t think that I can pin one of them on Tuukka Rask. Maybe it’s the old street hockey goalie in me but given the way the D played in front of him, I can‘t fault Rask for: sniper parked out front all alone, screened on point shot, 2-on-1 one-timer by aforementioned sniper, off D-man’s helmet into net, puck hits three sticks en route to net.
Bottom line is if the team played better in front of him, they don’t blow this game. But they did. And a large reason is because P.K. Subban is living rent-free in the Bruins heads, whether they want to admit it or not. He knows it. He legit laughs about it because it’s true. He knows he’s so hated in Boston that he worries that some of that hate might carry over to his brother (it won’t—Boston handled this just fine with the Espositos and will do so with Malcolm). So the Bs need to nip that shit in the bud ASAP. Stop taking his bait, his chirping, his engraved invites to the penalty box. And just play fucking hockey. He’s making you look like fools.
But then the real drama started. After a frantic night in the Garden press box, where the rumor-mongering took on “Johnny Dangerously”-in-prison-cafeteria levels, Bs fans clung to Twitter for confirmation that Jarome Iginla was indeed coming to Boston to solidfy the Bruins Cup run. And a couple of beers after the Bs game, former Bruins Aaron Ward confirmed what many had suspected—Boston landed their coveted forward for the mere price of two (likely) NHL prospects and the Bs 1st rounder. Woo-hoo! Round of the Doctor on me! Let’s smoke (yet another) bowl!
Until an hour later when the real Godfather of TSN chimed in: Iginla to Steeltown for two mid-level college prospects and Pittsburgh’s sure-to-be-low first rounder. Wait…what? Is Jay Feaster really that fucking bad? Well, yes, he is. But Jarome Iginla was driving this bus. And he wanted it to stop in Pittsburgh—not Boston, regardless of how much better off the Flames would be. If faced with Crosby/Malkin or Krejci/Bergeron, what would you do? And despite some internet chatter, I highly doubt team ownership factored in here, as players generally don’t give a fuck who signs their checks so long as they clear.
Whether Feaster acquiesced to Iginla because of what’s he’s done for Calgary or whether he just shit the bed once again (see: Wideman signing, O’Reilly offer sheet, etc.), what’s done is done. The Bs made a much better offer but it was rejected. So what now?
Peter Chiarelli and the Bs front office need to focus their lasers on Marty St. Louis. Then they need to do whatever they can to pry him from Tampa Bay. If they were offering Koko, Bartkowski, and a first for Iginla, then they need to sweeten the pot with a goalie prospect for Stevie Y. For chrissakes, you have fucking three of them—don’t be afraid to part with one now. Because 2nd liners from non-playoff teams ain’t gonna get it done this year. The Bruins need top-level talent to compete this year and they need to pay for it. Oh, and that’s before we even address the defense.
A tough day all around in Bruinsland. But there’s still almost a week before the deadline, plenty of time to solidify the roster. Will the Bs fill the cupboard with spare parts in an alleged seller’s market? Or will they make a real impact and take a real risk within this limited window to win another Cup? The ball is in Chiarelli’s hands and he has until Wednesday to make it happen.
Anything less than St. Louis will feel like a disappointment after the dicktease of last night. But Chiarelli has earned not only the clout in this town but the benefit of the doubt. At least until the deadline. If the Bs stand pat or merely tinker, then the GM will feel the heat. Here’s hoping he swings for the fences. If he doesn’t, it will likely be a short run.
In the meantime, I’ll be following up on the rumor that Aaron Ward will be dressing up as Steve Burton for Halloween. (To his credit, he did apologize for “multiple sources confirm(ing) a trade that did not happen” as did Bob McKenzie on behalf of TSN. Still, the network did end up with egg on its face).