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Off-season Bruins thoughts

Tuesday 6/27/23

The Bruins won as many major regular season individual awards last night as they did playoff games before their ignominious ouster. Says a lot about what you need to know.

Among players counted on to be the better players, there are winners and losers. Each player of any stripe may be a winning player or a losing player, in that they contribute to some degree to winning or losing, even if that appears to be in a minor way. That's not the same as being a winner or a loser. Stakes and responsibilities are different. Expectations.

People know nothing about anything, including hockey, so they think Patrice Bergeron is this god because of the Selke trophies he's won, with the sixth coming at last night's awards ceremony. He's been canonized and his sainthood is never called into question. What percentage of the people who parrot these opinions do you think could tell you anything about the defensive responsibilities of a center? Or even one thing?

First of all: the more important role of a frontline center is scoring. Bergeron has never scored like a frontline center. He has failed in the primary portion of his job. Defense is also important for a center, but offensive production is more so. His game is not complete, no matter what nearly everyone else says because they don't know any better. It lacks in the most important area, and he makes up for it some in another, which is secondary by nature of the forward position, even as a center.

He's then given this award on reputation. I have watched top centers pick Bergeron apart and have their way with him in recent years. I hope he retires. Please. Enough of the losing culture and the underachieving. Enough Bergeron worshipping. He's one of the reasons this team has underachieved for as long as it has.

That loss this past spring is not only the biggest choke in Boston sports history, it's one of the biggest chokes in the history of sports. As the years go by, it's going to look worse and worse when people start to catch up to how bad it truly was, allowing that there's anyone smart enough left at that point to do more than remember their own name.

Ullmark got his Vezina, and now he should be given his ticket out of Boston. As I said, you cannot bring back both goalies again. I am no Swayman booster, but you also don't need a great goalie, as the Golden Knights just proved. You need a goalie who's good enough. Enough of the hugs and the cuddles. More cracking of the whip, please. More competition, more jobs on the line, less comfort for everyone all around.

I hate that goalie hug bullshit. Promotes losing. That's what losers do. Winners want to compete, they want to be the one out there all the time winning and proving and re-proving how great they are. Not doing hugs so that idiots on Twitter who also talk about Patrice Bergeron in the manner you'd expect from someone who refers to their dogs as "fur babies" can gush and swoon. Creepy in the extreme.

So many people talk about players like those people are children and those players are their stuffed animals and their Barbies. They have no idea what is happening on the field, the court, the ice, how the games even work. They are usually empty and broken these people, as most people now are, and they form these disturbing attachments to their "heroes" in a fantasy world kind of way that even a five-year-old child does not.

I see it all the time. It drives fan commentary regarding sports and athletes. Then you have numbers. People cite numbers because they can't talk about the games themselves because they don't actually understand what is happening. Use numbers, and you can fake being smart, while having no clue what is going on or the meaning behind the numbers. Anyone can share a number; hardly anyone can say anything intelligent and perceptive.

Ullmark's value is high, he's a one-season wonder, a postseason liability, and I don't think he'll ever come close to the numbers he put up in limited time--which was a key factor--last regular season.

Obviously I could be wrong about Ullmark. But I think he just had your classic career year. I notice that that term is often used incorrectly now. The spirit of the phrase is a season a player has that is out of character, that is far and away their best year, a surprise, a big spike.

Having seen recent photos of him, too, Charlie McAvoy might try getting in shape. That would probably help and his ice time wouldn't be affected by not being in the condition he's supposed to be in, which is clearly the case now.

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