Team: Boston Bruins
They comfortably held a playoff spot for a little over five months, and then they started losing a bunch of games. After a 3-7-1 run from March 14 onward, they needed just one win to cement a playoff spot, and then Tuukka Rask got the flu, and well.....you know what happened next. This now marks two straight years just out of the postseason by a team with John Ferguson, Jr. on the payroll. Hey, we've seen this before!
Probably the most enjoyable part of this collapse was knowing that the Bruins choked so hard they actually wasted a career season from Brad Marchand. Thank you. Thank you so much for saving us all from Bruins fans that had gotten far too smug and insufferable about Brad Marchand. Geez. You would think he was the second coming of Gretzky to hear it from some fans. Here is an average conversation with literally any Bruins fan in 2016:
YOU: the weather sure is nice out today.
BRUINS FAN: IT'S NOT ELITE LIKE BRAHD MAHCHAND
YOU: okay.....well, got any plans for the weekend?
BRUINS FAN: GONNA THINK BOUT HOW MUCH BETTAH MAHCHAND IS THAN ANYONE ELSE NAHT NAMED TAHM BRADY OH PAPI
YOU: you make me want to shove rusty hooks in my ears.
BRUINS FAN: GOTTA GO GONNA PUNCH A SMAHLL CHILD BECAHSE HE DOESN'T KNOW HOW GOOD BRAHD MAHCHAND IS
By the way, Marchand is an overrated flaming bag of garbage. A blind donkey would look elite with Patrice Bergeron; and would probably have better hygiene.
Your Head Coach
Claude Julien, at least for now. The longtime Bruins head coach has been on the chopping block pretty much annually. Don't let the ringing endorsement from management last season fool you; he has the job security of a Trump campaign manager. You're just one losing streak away from Don Sweeney choosing a head coach. Never forget that.
Your Starting Goalie
Tuukka Rask, who is slowly coming back to earth! His .915 SV% in 2015-16 was the worst season he's had since losing the starting job to Tim Thomas in 2010. Sure is strange how Rask has gotten progressively worse over the last few years behind a defense that has also gotten progressively worse. Almost like his elite goaltending abilities were a mirage or something.
Should Rask no longer lead the league in GAA or SV%, he will still lead the all-important metric of giant baby temper tantrums. So there's that.
New Things That Suck
David Backes! HAHAHAHAHA I CAN'T BELIEVE THE BRUINS ACTUALLY DID THAT! I was only joking about that definitely happening. Congratulations, Boston; you are now paying $6MM a season through 2021 to someone your ownership has already admitted will be a third line centre this year. Alongside Matt Beleskey, that's now almost $10MM a season your team is paying a third line that will actually be bad. His offensive numbers peaked some five years ago, and his career highlight to date is being the lynchpin for several Crying Jordan memes after losing the Western Conference Final.
The best part of the Backes deal was that it was announced in the most knife-twisting way possible:
David Backes is going to BOS on a one year deal.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2016
Backes is five years $6M AAV.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2016
For those counting, that's six minutes between the Backes deal going from "somewhat reasonable" to "on the fence" to "LOOOOOOOOL." The Bruins have about $5.8MM in cap space with Marchand and David Pastrnak set to get paaaaaaid, so this will be quite fun to watch.
Also, you drafted a guy who hates your team as much as the rest of us. He also happens to be your best prospect now because this is a thing that still happened:
Oh shit, Boston could get Barzal, Connor, and Kylington here— Rhys Jessop (@Thats_Offside) June 27, 2015
Things That Still Suck
Your yearly "Zdeno Chara is a year older" alert! He is now two years away from hitting UFA, and presumably, two years from either retirement or a year with the Detroit Red Wings nobody will remember happen. We ragged on Shea Weber a bit earlier, but he at least has some miles left in him. The decline of Chara, however, has been something else. He was never exactly the fastest skater, but now he's three strides behind about everyone. All he has left is being tall. He's basically just Dikembe Mutombo with cinderblocks instead of feet.
That's not the saddest part about this defense, though. The saddest part really is that he's still their best defenseman. This blueline is so terrible that a 39-year old gargoyle with the agility of Old Yeller is still the best they've got. They're locked into the sad combination of Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller for at least three more years. I'd compare the Bruins defense to a subway turnstile, but that would be an insult to the turnstile, which actually does slow people down if not stop them entirely.
This team's window shut so fast, it never even realized it. Did you know 2011 was now six seasons ago? I know math is hard for Bostonians. This team will never be that good again. Never forget that you mouthbreathers came one unprecedented collapse away from losing to a Randy Carlyle-coached team in the first round. Don't worry, though; took you all of 17 seconds to give that away, didn't it?
The fact that you people have had all these championships you barely appreciate is the greatest argument in favour of atheism. Sully from North Attleborough may complain on WEEI about how hard it is to be a poor, suffering Boston fan. Shut up. No one cares. You can't brag about how many championships you've won hand over fist, then complain how hard done by you are from Boston sports. That isn't how this works.
Why You Might Not Suck
Patrice Bergeron. He's the only thing Boston-related I can say nice things about without wanting to take a hot shower to clean away all the grime.