After what seems like a dry spell in the hockey nation, B’s fans finally have something to chew on while we wait out another two months doing nothing more than crying over season recaps and sleeping with every single article of Bruins gear we own (don’t you dare even pretend that you haven’t been).
Loui Eriksson has been looked at, by coach Claude Julien, as being a fine contender to replace the Great and Powerful Wizard of Boston, Jarome Iginla:
“Right now I think there’s still some time and some things can still be done and there’s no doubt we’re still working on a few things. Nonetheless we don’t feel like we’re in a real tough situation. We’ve lost Jarome, but as you’ve probably heard I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year. And he can be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility. But at the same time, Chris Kelly will be coming back. So are we going to look for somebody to be a third liner or somebody who is going to be replacing Iggy? So just a couple things here that we have to resolve.”
Truly, it is indeed an interesting concept if anything. But we can’t try and fool ourselves about this one.
Losing Iggy and Thornton in the same month was a huge blow – and not only to the fans of the Black and Gold, but to the organization itself. Eriksson is without a doubt a strong player and a quick forward, but his tendency for concussions (especially that big one at the beginning of last season) may end up costing the team.
Eriksson only scored 10 goals and 27 assists last season; not bad necessarily, but not that good, either. We can’t have a group of our rough-and-tough guys on the ice with him in case he gets targeted again (the things I could say about Brooks Orpik right now. But alas, I digress.) so we need a strong forward willing to throw the gloves down when needed and take more than a few hits.
With Thornton gone? They seem to be few and far between. Not just forwards, but for defensemen as well. Chara is always willing but everyone sees him bare his teeth and basically piss their pants, Marchand is a gnat who doesn’t fight so much as annoy, McQuaid completely wrecks anyone who comes within five feet of him, and Kevan Miller is basically the Tasmanian Devil brought to life. So that’s all we have left, really. We can’t afford any of them to get hurt this season. None.
Some of the youngsters coming up from Providence look immensely promising, but that’s not all the tricks the B’s have up their sleeves.
Reilly “Dreamboat” Smith shone not just in the regular season, but the run we had for The Cup in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He held his own with 20 goals and 31 assists scored without so much of a sweat (last season being his first full season if I may add). The kid is already on fire.
Out of the two boys from Dallas, Smith seems like a heavier contender to fill those big Hall of Fame shoes more than Eriksson does (at this point in time, anyway).
While we may not have someone who can truly live up to the standards Iggy set before leaving us so quickly (Oh won’t you, stay with me?) we have younger boys with just as much talent and potential hidden under their pads for just about three Jarome Iginla’s combined. Patience, practice, and time on the ice are all they need.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am more than willing to root for them every step of the way.
All that’s left to do now is wait and see what other little dramatic flares the Bruins still have in store for us until October rolls around.
Oh! And don’t forget: it is truly okay for you to wear your jersey in the middle of August. Seriously. I’ve done it.