By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
The trade deadline has come and gone and the Bruins failed to add the impact top-six forward they desperately need.
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before.
Once again, Don Sweeney didn’t add any major pieces for the Bruins playoff push, just like he’s done year after year. The Bruins needed top-level talent, but Sweeney once again acquired middle-of-the-pack players.
Nobody disappoints at the deadline like the Bruins.
Marcus Johansson is a fine player, Charlie Coyle is a fine player, but fine players don’t win you Stanley Cups. Are the Bruins trying to win the Cup or are they just trying to get a few extra home playoff games?
Same year, same old mediocre Bruins moves at the deadline. Nothing changes.
2019 will now be another season where Sweeney has failed to put enough talent around Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci. Monday’s disappointing deadline follows a summer where the Bruins did nothing to improve their team.
Maybe they were close to signing John Tavares. Maybe they tried to trade for Mark Stone. Maybe they wanted Gustav Nyquist but he didn’t want them.
Maybe’s aren’t good enough anymore. Sooner or later, the Bruins going to run out of time with this group.
The core players on this team continue to get older. When are the Bruins finally going to decide that they’re in it to win it?
It seems like Sweeney and company are waiting for the perfect time to make a splash and add legitimate top-six talent, but they’re going to find out that there is no such thing as the perfect time to go all-in.
Tampa Bay is a wagon and Toronto is a force. Both should be good for many years to come and both will be major roadblocks for the Bruins in their quest for the Cup.
But this isn’t the NBA. The Lightning might be a powerhouse, but they’re not the Golden State Warriors. There is no such thing as a team in the NHL that makes it impossible for the rest of the league to compete for a title. It might be hard for the Bruins to get past the competition in the East for the next few years, but that shouldn’t stop them from trying.
They haven’t tried enough.
Maybe Sweeney was scared off by the Rick Nash experience last year, maybe he’s afraid of investing too much in a rental, or maybe he just isn’t capable of identifying the right talent at the deadline. His list of midseason trades is a long and woefully mediocre one.
Nash predictably failed to deliver. I forgot Tommy Wingels and Nick Holden were even on the Bruins last year. I want to forget the 2016 disaster when Sweeney shipped off second, third, fourth, and fifth round draft picks for Lee Stempniak and John Michael Liles.
Drew Stafford is arguably the best deadline trade Sweeney has made.
We can only hope Johansson and Coyle aren’t the latest names added to that dubious list of Bruins deadlines busts. Both are respectable players, but facts are facts: they have totaled just two 50-point campaigns in 16 NHL seasons combined.
The Bruins needed more than that, but once again, they didn’t get what they needed.
You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.