Over the weekend, the Bruins capped off an extremely disappointing season in which they finished out of the playoffs. Major changes are ahead, be it in the front office, coaching staff, or roster.

While the Globe has noted hockey guy Dan Shaughnessy shouting GET THEM GONE as it concerns Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien, others take a more measured view of the situation.

GM, coach not fall guys – Stephen Harris says it would be a mistake to parts ways with the duo.

After ‘failure’ of a season, Bruins shouldn’t blow things up – Fluto Shinzawa says that while Cam Neely is undoubtedly angry over how things have gone this season, blowing it up isn’t the answer.

How it all fell apart for the Bruins – Dan Cagen has a good look at how Jerome Iginla is still haunting the Bruins – and not because he wasn’t here this season.

With Bruins calling a season sans playoffs a failure, expect an overhaul – Joe McDonald says that fixing the roster, not the coaching and GM should be the focus.

Get all the coverage at BruinsLinks.com.

If someone had told you in September that the Bruins would not make the playoffs you probably would have disagree with them. If that person told you that the Celtics would trade away Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green and only have Jae Crowder on the court to show for it this season, and would still make the playoffs, you’d probably take a cautious step back from the obviously insane person standing before you.

Yet, with a win in either of their final two games, or a loss by the Nets or Pacers in their final games, the Celtics will return to the postseason. The Celtics annihilated a Cleveland roster which was sitting out its four top players yesterday, but also beat the same team on the road Friday night when the likes of Lebron James and Kevin Love at least played some of the game.

Some continue to insist that making the playoffs is fools gold, especially in the weaker Eastern conference, and that not having a lottery pick limits their ability to take another step forward next season. The Celtics have played at a 50-win pace for about half a season now. Their young players are getting the experience they need for the future. It’s hard not to see this as a positive.

With playoff berth within grasp, Celtics’ Brad Stevens stays level – Gary Washburn has the head coach staying on message.

Thomas’ attitude, personality have transformed overachieving Celtics – Jackie MacMullan has a look at how the 5-9 guard has made the team fun to watch.

Get all the coverage at CelticsLinks.com.

Fenway Park opens its gates for the first time this season for the Red Sox home opener this afternoon. The Red Sox are coming off a Sunday night loss to the Yankees in which Clay Buchholz gave up 10 runs, but Boston has also won its first two series of the year, and come in with a 4-2 record.

Good times at Fenway – Steve Buckley says that the home opener is always a special day.

Why free agent class didn’t push Rick Porcello to new deal – Rob Bradford’s extensive weekly notes looks at today’s starter and why he made the deal with the Red Sox now.

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24 thoughts on “Disappointing End For Bruins, Sox Open Home Slate.

  1. As an admitted fair-weather Bruins / NHL fan, it’s interesting to hear/read the split of opinions on Eriksson. Depending on who is giving the opinion, he is either totally useless or, as Cagen wrote in the article that Bruce linked to, this season, Loui was “of players who performed at or above their expectations”. Eriksson notched 47 points and appeared to form a nicely productive duo with Soderberg.

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  2. I think “blowing it up” would be a mistake for the B’s. This duo (Claude and Chiarelli) has probably been their most successful coach/GM pairing since Sinden was the coach and Milt Schmidt the GM back in the late 60s/early 70s. It’s worth mentioning that they still ended the season with 96 points and played for large stretches without Chara (early season) and Krejci (mid-to-late season). Had either of those guys played the full season the team probably grinds out another couple of wins and gets into the tournament. It’s not like they had a 20-win season or anything like that. Re-evaluate, sure, but burning the whole thing down seems like a rash move IMO. Of course, that was the first thing Felger was calling for after the game was over on Saturday night. I won’t even comment on Shank providing his two cents on the matter, since he writes about hockey maybe once a year, and usually after the B’s have suffered a season-ending loss. Pure troll-like opportunism for him to write about the Bruins today, of all days.

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    1. The issue is, that when they had the injuries, they had no depth to account for it. Lack of scoring has been a chronic problem for the B’s for years, but never seems to get better. Although the B’s have done well over the years, they’ve never really felt like a top-notch team. I’ve no problem with Claude, but Chiarelli comes up short time and time again in drafting and trades.

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      1. Agreed. There were mistakes made by the front office, for sure, and those mistakes began literally days after they lost Game 6 of the 2013 finals. I’m still scratching my head over dumping Seguin so early in his career, citing lack of maturity as one of the key reasons. Well, the kid was 18, 19 ,20 years old when he was playing for the B’s. Naturally he was immature. A little patience was warranted before selling off (cheaply) a talented guy like that. And to LTD’s point above, I agree that Claude’s style is NOT entertaining, and it may very well have been a factor in the front office jettisoning some guys while overpaying others. Still, it’s been a successful coach/GM pairing and a little perspective is required, I think, before they go and clean house. Neely, if I recall correctly, with one well-timed radio interview, was successful in getting Claude to “open up” the style of play a bit during the Stanley Cup season (“The goal isn’t to win the game 1-1,” was the money quote, I believe). Maybe it’s possible that an adjustment or tweak here and there can fix the issues. Of course, I’m sure any evaluation of the organization will include talking to the players regarding how they feel about playing for Claude and working under Chiarelli. Maybe both have worn out their welcome in the locker room? We’ll see. Should be an interesting offseason, to say the least.

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    2. Heard this point multiple times, and its reiterated if you follow McKenzie or any of the “hockey bigs”, but outside of this market, Claude and Chiarelli are highly respected. I don’t think it’s something just put out there by one of the local homers in the market.

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  3. As much as I hate talking hockey…I do love talking about the business of sports…with that in mind…

    The real problem the Bruins had this past year was one of entertainment value. At least that is what I think Charlie Jacobs is looking at when he and his brain trust will evaluate the coach and the GM. Claude might be the best coach they have had in the last 40 years. But his refusal to play kids because he does not trust them to play defense, does not make the GM look good. Furthermore his lack of patience/track record with developing kids, otherwise known as value contracts in the mind of the cap managers/owners frustrated not only the fans who always look at the new up and comers with hope, but also the owners who now were forced to pay higher contracts to “JAG’s” who understood Claude’s system. Guys like Kelly and Paille are over paid for their roles because Claude does not have the patience to develop some kid who looks lost playing Claude’s system but who can score 40 goals a year if they ask him to play more wide open and less defense.

    Chiarelli has a similar problem with management. He, with the help of his coach, identified a “core” that he invested heavily in. The problem is they got older, slower or got hurt, while they never got cheaper. Couple that with the lack of prospect development and he was forced to go the FA route to fill perceived holes. Now the team by necessity is in cap hell.

    To be honest no matter how good Claude and Chiarelli are in the end this is a results business. The Bruins this year did not look good. They really did not look good starting at the Montreal series last year. As such something needs to change. There will need to be players moving in and out. More importantly SR. management has to take a long hard look at the perceived entertainment value of this club as it is currently constructed and make decisions to win back some of the good will they have been building for the last few years. When Mike Felger is questioning the product you have to believe things need to change. I think this means they both need to go and a whole new philosophy brought in. That can’t be done by leaving either Chiarelli or Claude in their jobs. Nor do I think it can be done by simply elevating Don Sweenie which seems to be the consensus thought out there. Seems to me something else needs to happen.

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  4. I also freely admit to not being a knowledgeable hockey fan. I am a casual fan at best so you will have to excuse me if my questions come off as naïve. Felger has been railing against Claude for years. No secret he doesn’t like his style of hockey. It must have been unbearable to see Claude go from 90% out the door (I think that if they had lost game 7 to MTL in 2011 he would have been fired) to top of the hockey world in the course of two months. But my questions are, who are you going to bring in here, and will that person be considered an upgrade? You can’t just put someone else behind the bench an expect that things will automatically be better. I remember Dave Lewis and his awful mustache. Change for the sake of change does not equal better, just different.

    I do understand that sometimes a parting of the ways is necessary but from a strictly logical view it doesn’t make much sense to me to fire a coach of the year winner and Stanley Cup winner because you had a lot of key injuries and missed the playoffs by the slimmest of margins. Cam is in charge now and neither Claude nor Peter were his guys. Maybe he wants his guys to do it his way. I just think this isn’t as easy of a decision as some would believe it is

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    1. The thing I think to realize is that they also won the Stanley Cup by the slimmest of margins. While this is a good team, they are not great. They did not win by being a dominating team, they won by being really good and having some breaks go their way. They’ve lost out when the breaks go the other way.

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      1. True, but the hockey post-season, probably more than any other major sport, often runs on “puck luck.” When the Islanders were winning Stanley Cups in the early 80s, they lived dangerously, a lot, in the post-season. They were the masters of winning games in OT. One or two bad bounces go the other way, and that may have been a 2-time Cup winning team instead of a 4-time winner. In 1982, they were dead in the water with 5 minutes to go in their first round series, down to a bad Pittsburgh team (pre-Lemieux) by two goals in the deciding game….and then it happened. They somehow got two pucks past the goalie in the final five minutes and then won the game in OT to advance to the next round. They went on to win Cup #3 a month later. The Oilers, at the height of their powers back in the mid-80s, got bounced by Calgary in the second round of the ’86 playoffs because a rookie defenseman mindlessly banked in the game-winning goal off the back of Grant Fuhr’s pads while trying to pass the puck out from behind his own net. Stuff like that happens in the NHL playoffs. The 2011 B’s got the breaks; the 2013 B’s, on the other hand, clanged something like 6 or 7 goalposts in the finals series against Chicago, and ended up losing a pair of one-goal games at home.

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  5. I won’t paste them all but the @SharksOfVegas guy who has been the best source on the “Deflategate” stuff has some new stuff as of 2-3h ago:

    Click over to his feed for the rest.

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    1. I really wanna believe those guys, but Curran’s article today scared the crap out of me, quite frankly. He basically says that the league is going back YEARS and interviewing ex-backup QBs about the Pats’ footballs. In other words, the entire organization is getting a giant colonoscopy over this petty nonsense, just because. Witch hunts will always find a witch, eventually. Goodell is such a freakin’ JOKE.

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      1. Yeah, I read Curran’s article: http://t.co/7sJ5n29NEi too.

        Wonder if Bledsoe got a call?

        Wells: Drew, this is Ted Wells. Can I talk to you about what BB did in regards to the PSI of footballs?

        Drew: You been drinking? Hope it’s some Doubleback.

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      2. I got worried too. Been wondering this for awhile and i’m surprised that the locals haven’t gone here yet because this seems like low hanging fruit but it’s this. You saw the GM in Atlanta get suspended and then you saw how they came down on Cleveland. I have to think that if they prove anything at all that the Pats “cheat” in anyway, then Belichick being the man who runs the whole program here is going to get a heavy suspension. start at 8 games just because of his reputation? What about Brady? What if it can be proven that he had someone tamper with the balls? Does the freshly minted SB MVP get a suspension? Sean Payton got a whole season for bounties so I don’t know where that leaves Bill. As the head of an organization can he get nabbed even if it was just Brady’s deal? IDK.
        I believe…I wanna believe it’s taking this long because there was some shady crap going on with other teams trying to set up the Patriots. I hope because if the Patriots are proven to be “up to something” then I have a feeling the NFL is going to come down hard on BB. Especially considering that there is a faction that believes he never really got his just desserts the last time with spygate by not getting suspended for that.
        There are a lot of wolves at the door.

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        1. The problem with the entire situation is that Goodell has gone on record in the past as saying that the “burden of proof” for him to pass judgment on the NFL’s member organizations and players is basically whatever he determines it to be. There may be no proof at all that the Pats did anything to those footballs — I believe that to be the case because there’s no way that BB would give that press conference the week before the Super Bowl if there was something to the charges — but that still won’t stop Goodell from at least fining the Pats for “procedural discrepancies” or something similar, because the balls were, in fact, under 12.5 PSI at halftime of the AFCCG. That would give the haters in the media and elsewhere just enough ammo to scream “cheaters!” and “another tainted Super Bowl title!” I hope that doesn’t happen. If it does, Kraft needs to go medieval on Goodell’s incompetent a$$. Enough is enough. He (Kraft) allowed Goodell to hang them over the misdemeanor that was “Spygate”, which forever created an unjustified image of the franchise and their accomplishments. If Goodell turns this nothing, petty claim by that chicken-bleep organization out in Indy into something more than it is by punishing the Pats despite a lack of evidence of wrongdoing, he’s got to be held accountable by his biggest benefactor among the owners.

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      3. I really believe the report would have been completed a long time ago if this was just about the Patriots and the PSI of the their footballs. I think there is more to this than that. In my mind there has to be.

        For the Patriots to have been caught intentionally deflating footballs the league would have had to have control over the situation from the start. They would have needed to record the PSI of both the Colts and the Patriots footballs that night. They then would have to record all of them again at various points throughout the game and have done so both indoors and outdoors to fully understand the affects of the environment on the footballs. The league clearly did not have that control and I am sure we will find that out in the report.

        While I don’t deny that the league office employs a number of folks who don’t like the Patriots andor BB I am skeptical that Wells is going back and talking to former Patriots players. I am skeptical that the league office is out to get them. I do believe there are certain teamscoaches out to get the Patriots. I think those teamscoaches have taking their rivalry with the Patriots too far. Mangini was the first to cross the line. I believe the RavensColtsHarbaughIrsayGrigson have all joined Mangini.

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  6. Prediction: If Jon Lester continues to struggle, the Boston Sports Media trolls will slyly shift from saying that the final contract offer from the awful Red Sox ownership group wasn’t a real offer (in that they KNEW he wouldn’t accept it) to saying that the awful Red Sox ownership group got lucky…AGAIN.

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    1. My reading of the “critical” media in town has been they fall into one of two camps on Lester:

      Side 1: Agree with the Sox premise of not paying pitchers over 30 more than $100 mill or giving them more than 3 years. Bill Belichickian ruthlessness when it comes to talent evaluation and a system.

      Side 2: Lester is a proven winner in Boston. He wins during the season but more importantly he is a post season stud. Sure he is 31 but his personal story coupled with his success and the lack of a #1 if he is not signed meant that the Sox should have given him whatever he wanted to return.

      I agree with you if Lester continues to struggle there will be a lot of revisionism and a lot of I told you so’s. However I think the more important lesson that the Sox might be finally learning (and which the Bruins clearly have not learned) after 100 years is that the club when guaranteeing contracts has to have a good handle on value as it juxtaposes to expectations in order for the player to succeed based on the amount of the contract. Couple that with a new look at how money is doled out and I get the feeling that the Sox management (who I am usually highly critical of as I really dislike their lack of consistency) have truly started to understand the relationship between projected performance, economics and age. Whether they stick to their guns going forward is to be seen…but I do like the line in the sand they drew with Lester. The more I see what they are doing the less I think they low balled Lester and the more I think they really thought that was his value based on projected success. Lester might out perform the contract they offered. There is no way he lives up to never mind out performs the one the Cubs gave him. That fact is what has Sox brass smiling.

      One last thing, I think the Sox were sincere when they offered the $120 mill over 5 year last minute deal. I also think they knew that contract would be a mistake but they figured it was worth the PR retaining Lester would bring. I do not think they had any projection that showed a contract more lucrative than that would have worked to their benefit in the long run and that one was a real stretch.

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        1. Could be. But that would be an actual baseball decision and I am pretty sure they do not make actual baseball decisions at Fenway…at least not if they can avoid the appearance of having done so.

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          1. I still wonder how much they get caught between the PR/baseball dichotomy. Now that they control 50% of the media in town, it’s not too hard in regards to the former, but you’d think that would signify more of it, not less. Recently, it seems like the latter is prevailing.

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          2. I think they’re are too many cooks in the kitchen. Baseball ops makes one decision then another faction swoops in and veto’s them. I guess John Henry likes that back and forth because this has been going on since day one. Hey,all I know is that under his control we have 3 championships in 12 seasons of ownership.

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          3. With Tom Warner in the ownership group you would think that the Sox would understand media, presentation and entertainment better than most if not all other sports franchises. More importantly you would think that they would know how to manipulate media in a positive way…if there is such a thing.

            Yet, NESN is a mess including the Sox broadcasts which still have the completely unlistenable Jerry Remy. All other original Sox programming (Sox Appeal, the Ultimate Sox show and the pre/post game shows were/are either dumb ideas, or poorly executed to the point where no one watches them. (I will not even get into the rest of NESN programming). Over at the Globe the Sox were always priority one prior to the purchase but now it is just an organ of the Sox PR department. Contrast this to the way the Pats control their message and image and it is night and day.

            I do understand how the nature of baseball…162 games…necessitates a more open clubhouse and different coverage. But that does not mean the organization has to look like such fools to the point that they turn fans off even though they have won 3 titles in 12 years. It is disheartening.

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  7. So at 2 yesterday,I tune into F&M to see what their agenda would be for the day. Of course Mazz in is high pitch faux rage foaming at the mouth about Clay. My immediate reaction was to flip to the opening day ceremonies at Fenway. I just couldn’t subject myself to listen to a man bitching about the team 7 games into a 162 game schedule. I wanted to enjoy the day without someone crapping all over it. When the Bruins screw up big time like missing the playoffs then Felger issues edicts that he’s not going to use the whole show to bitch about them but anyone else in town is fair game I guess like everyday all day in the case of the Patriots and Red Sox. His binky though the Bruins,that’s off limits. Hypocrite.
    Also another bitch I have. About this whole faux rage the media was trying to drum up all last week when Porcello signed his 20 million deal. No one outside their bubble really cares.
    Most astute fans understands that as revenues grow in any sport so to do the pay scales. It’s simple economics. Supply and demand.
    Mazz in particular wants to judge everything about that guy just simply based on his contract and ignore everything else it seems.
    It was such a lazy talkshow talking point. I for one am glad that the media didn’t really get much traction with that. This isn’t like 15 years ago when the first 20 mil players were getting signed. That was new and kind of shocking back then but now it’s so common throughout all sports and even bigger in Soccer that most fans know that this just how business is done now. But not Mazz! He can’t get over it Mike! It’s outrageous! what a hot take! Wow…we’re all impressed Tony.
    Mazz tries too hard…efin joke.

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