The news of the dealing of a two-time Vezina winner and the 2011 Conn Smythe recepient to Long Island (first revealed to me by the Facebook page of the former fan favorite enforcer Lyndon “LB” Byers) quickly had me weighing the pros and cons of the move. It’s fair to say that most fans see this as a bittersweet experience. I’m on the fence with this myself. But it’s only fair to break it down.
More cap room:
Peter Chiarelli has stated that the nucleus of the team isn’t likely to change soon. However, I’m certain that if circumstance makes a need for it (especially since the team is looking like it’s lacking someone to keep up with the speed and intensity of someone like Thomas Vanek of Buffalo), then they have the room to do so. They can also sign UFAs Rask and Horton to long-term deals.
Exorcising of bad mojo:
I’m certain that some of Thomas’s self-centeredness has had a negative impact on the dressing room even if the team publicly stood behind his decisions. Now perhaps the team chemistry will improve and this can serve as a catalyst.
The Bruins’ prospect pool isn’t especially deep, but what possible future goaltenders the organization does have now get more room to develop. 2012 1st round draft selection Malcolm Subban is the most high-profile one, but Scandinavian sons Niklas Svedberg (currently shining in Providence) and Lars Volden also look pretty fine. Let’s see what comes of it.
Adjustments to a proven system:
We know that the sharing of the work-load by the Thomas and Rask tandem was effective, capturing back to back division titles. We only have a small sampling of how Rask and Anton Khudobin work together. Maybe we won’t have as much depth. Anton has shown some reliability, but that’s only been in a handful of starts. Is it just a fluke?
Tuuka is a question mark:
He filled Thomas’ skates quite well when Tim was dealing with hip problems, but Rask now has the full-time starting job after being an injury prone second stringer. It sometimes feels like the Finn’s ankles are made out of string cheese. I wouldn’t say he’s our Rick DiPietro (speaking of the joke known as the Isles), but this might not end well.
Who’s the money goalie now?:
I can’t look at either of the Bruins’ current netminders and picture someone capable of winning three Game Sevens in one playoff run and stifling three great offensive teams while doing it. Gerry Cheevers ain’t walking out that tunnel; and if he does, he’s gonna be gray and old. I’m not sure what magic gives a goaltender ice-water in his veins, but our current duo better find it fast.
See ya later, folks.