NBC Sports hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick joined Middays with MFB to discuss the Bruins’ recent struggles and playoff prospects. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Bruins currently sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but are just one point ahead of the Senators, who hold two games in hand.
“I don’t like the way Ottawa’s playing so well, and I don’t like the way the Bruins are playing. … I’m very concerned because if you look at the schedule, the Bruins have a very difficult schedule,” Roenick said. “I think Ottawa’s schedule is a little bit more lenient, and they have two games in hand.”
Added Roenick: “Sometimes you have to find things to rally around, and the Bruins have to find something. Because if not, their schedule does not bode well for them in terms of the schedule compared to Ottawa’s schedule.”
The most recent setback for the Bruins came on Sunday, when they lost 5-3 to the Lightning. It was their fifth straight loss when every point matters to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“They’ve had trouble scoring goals and they have to start scoring some goals,” Roenick said. “And to give up as many goals as they did yesterday is just unheard of.”
The Hall of Fame center believes that in order to turn their losing streak around, the Bruins will have to rely on the veterans in the locker room.
“I would get my leaders in the room, you know, they guys that have been there, the guys that are supposed to lead this team,” Roenick said. “And I would get them to inspire the boys, whether it’s verbally, whether it’s lifting their game up. You know, I was always a yeller and screamer, and I always responded to yelling and screaming. And I did respond better to it when it came from my teammates. And desperate times deserve desperate measures. I think a lot of guys would accept getting yelled at, screamed at to work harder if it meant they were going to make the playoffs and they were going to play better.”
If the B’s fail to make the playoffs, Roenick believes there will be consequences for the people in charge of the team.
“Missing playoffs always costs somebody their job,” Roenick said. “I hope that’s not the case, I think [Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli] have been very good. But I would worry about Chiarelli’s job if they miss, because if you look at the trade deadline, not enough was done at the trade deadline to bring in the type of players that are needed for that last push, and that’s going to be brought down on Chiarelli.”
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