|2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round||NBA First Round Predictions||Datsyuk’s Late Heroics Topple Bruins in Game 1||Celtics Go 1-1 in Draft Order Tiebreakers|
I thought Miroslav Satan was supposed to be an offensive player, no? Since coming to the Bruins, the team has scored a total of 23 goals in 12 games, an average of less than two goals per game. That isn’t very impressive considering Satan was supposed to be this goal-scoring playmaker. Instead, he’s only managed two goals and two assists, but does have a +3 rating. Overall, the Bruins are a mere 2-8-2 since adding the former 40-goal scorer a month ago.
When he first came to Boston, the Bruins were a playoff team and looked to only get better, but in the meantime the team has struggled with injuries and hasn’t found any kind of rhythm on the offensive end. Now, they are on the outside of the playoffs looking in and Satan hopes that his team’s hard work will translate from practice to when it comes game time and the Bruins can start to win some games like they are supposed to.
“You don’t expect it, but it happens on every team, stretches like this,” he said after a 75-minute practice last Monday at Ristuccia Arena. “I think this team has enough of everything, has the quality to come out of this, and hopefully these three days here we have enough time to think about it and practice on different things and get our heads straight and have a better game the next time we come out on the ice.”
The Bruins are in a strange position, mainly because they have been without their star in Marc Savard, who has been out of the lineup on two different stints due to injury. Without a doubt he is their leader. Sorry to all those people who say that Zdeno Chara is the leader on this team, it is simply Savard and the numbers prove that. Boston is 15-11-4 when Savard plays and are 8-10-5 without him.
The Bruins brought in Satan to not really replace Savard but more for insurance purposes, since Savard has had his share of injuries thus far this season. Satan was thought to set up plays and use his scoring touch to revive the Bruins offense; neither has happened. Boston currently sits dead last in goals scored per game with 2.34, as the 29 other teams are scoring much more than they are. Last season the Bruins were second in the league in goals scored per game with 3.29.
It’s not like they are even playing poorly against top-tier teams: they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes the last week 5-1 and the Hurricanes have the third worst record in the entire league. The Bruins are struggling and and struggling hard. They have the talent and the experience but for some reason they can’t seem to score, and Satan has not helped the cause.
The 35-year-old Satan is obviously not the player he used to be and he didn’t start this season until he came to the Bruins so to say the least, he’s a little rusty. The argument could be made that he isn’t playing well because he didn’t start his season until January but it’s already been a month. In a month he should be able to learn the system and be in some kind of grove, but he isn’t and neither are the B’s.
We did sign the veteran for a very good deal, so it’s not like we’re throwing our money away at all. The Bruins signed him at $700,000 for the remainder of the season, a pretty good price for a player who has been around the league as long as he has.
I don’t think the struggling B’s need to make any kind of trade either. They have many many pieces that could get them to the Stanley Cup, they just need everyone healthy and just playing hockey together. They have not played as a real team thus far this season and that’s their problem. They have shown flashes of the team from last year, but that’s all. They don’t need to bring in anyone else because that would just mess up whatever chemistry they are working on now.
Satan could prove to be the missing piece in Boston’s push for the playoffs, but for now they still need to learn how to score. With Savard back on the first line, I think things will start to get easier, and I hope they do before Coach Julien throws in the towel on this lackluster season.