Bruce Cassidy. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)
It’s mailbag time!
To submit questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @RearAdBsBlog and include question, name, and city/state. Let’s get after it …
Sidney Crosby has 42 goals in 74 games so he’ll need to finish with a goal a game for the last eight games to hit 50 for the second time. Will he get it? Dan, Stoneham, MA
I learned long ago not to bet against or doubt Sidney Crosby anymore. So yes, I’ll go out on a limb and say, sure. I know he’s not a favorite of Bruins fans (and Philly’s hate for him is actually impressive). As evidenced by his scrotal stick smack on Ryan O’Reilly Tuesday night and his fingertip-lopping slash on Ottawa’s poor Marc Methot Thursday, he’s certainly no choir boy. So when he does the Steve Urkel “Did I do that?” routine, he gets double the hate.
But if you’re a fan of the game, you really have to appreciate just how awesome of a player he is. His otherworldly skills were best exemplified in a spectacular, defense-carving beeline to the net that culminated in a one-handed backhander that went top shelf with some serious mustard on it. It became an instant favorite for Goal of the Year because who the hell else could pull this off? He pulled away from Brad Marchand in the goal-scoring race and has been a dominant force all over the ice.
“Superstar grinder” is what fellow All-Star Taylor Hall called him. You don’t have to like him but you sure have to enjoy him.
What the hell has happened to the Bruins? John, South Boston, MA
That’s the Million Dollar Question. They went from world beaters under Bruce Cassidy, winning 12 of their first 15, to a mistake-prone team on a four game losing streak that can’t defend or get secondary scoring at the absolute worst possible time. Tuukka Rask, who has been an anchor for the vast majority of the season, had a brutal third period Thursday vs. Tampa Bay in a huge spot. A playoff berth looked liked a slam dunk a week or so ago. Today, it’s looks like a three-pointer. With a man in your face.
So did Butch’s magic wear off? Are the Bruins of the last week who the Bruins really are? And if so, why the hell did they play so damn good for that previous stretch? Did I leave the iron on? This team is just so frustrating lately, they have us questioning everything.
If the freefall doesn’t stop and they miss the post-season, I wonder if the front office reconsiders bringing him back for 2017-18, especially if better options become available in the interim. It was something that seemed like a guarantee two weeks ago but another choke job will certainly make it a question worth asking. That is, of course, if the current iteration of the front office is still making that call. There’s an awful lot at stake for this franchise over the last eight games.
Beggars can’t be choosers but should they get in the playoffs, who would be the best match-up for the Bruins? Ricky, Fall River, MA
Now that they pissed away their Atlantic Division standing, the Bs are most likely going to be the #8 seed/2nd Wild Card team should they get in. So the Pittsburgh Penguins would be the best series for them, by far. For whatever reason, the Bruins have had pretty good success against the Pens in the last few years so they’d be a much better draw than the Braden Holtby-led Washington Capitals and perhaps even both Ontario teams (Toronto and Ottawa).