Results from the 2020 New England Sports survey, which is conducted by Channel Media & Market Research, were released on Monday. While I was unable to find the full survey online for unknown reasons, Evan Marinofsky of CLNS Media posted two survey results about the Bruins, and they were… interesting. In fact, I don’t really have accurate words that are print-friendly to describe them. But, I’m going to try, so let’s just dive right in.
Who Was the Most Underwhelming Player on the Bruins This Season?
Bruins fans in the New England Sports Survey overwhelmingly ranked Tuukka Rask as the Bruins player who didn’t meet expectations over the past year… pic.twitter.com/Tk37uJhnu2
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) November 18, 2020
Tuukka Rask, a Vezina Trophy finalist this season, was the most underwhelming player on the Bruins roster this past year. Sure. That completely stands to reason.
Rask Almost Had a Career Year
With all due respect to these people, this is the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Rask had his best season since he won the Vezina in 2013, with a 2.12 goals-against average (GAA) and a 0.929 save percentage (SV%). Plus, on top of that, as I mentioned earlier, he was a Vezina Trophy finalist this season and placed second in the voting. Bruins fans are so blinded by unwarranted hate for him it’s mind-boggling. People always bring up that he hasn’t won a Cup (although his name is on it from 2011) but that means nothing when evaluating an individual player’s skill. By that logic, Ray Bourque must’ve sucked for the first 20 years of his career. So, all I have to say (that’s printable) about this is OK.
The other players on this list I can see a little more. Nick Ritchie was certainly underwhelming. David Backes wasn’t good either, although if he underwhelmed you it was because you expected too much given the trend his career had been taking. I’m also not surprised Heinen is on this list. Fans always had it out for him because he wasn’t flashy. But, he was never billed to be, and he was one of the most defensively responsible forwards on the roster. So, he far from underwhelmed me, and I strongly disagree with him being on the list. But I’m not surprised he is given the attitude most of the fans who apparently took part in this had towards him.
The only one I’m a little confused by here is Chara. He performed up to expectations for me. I’m really not sure what else people expected from him at 42 years old (he turned 43 in March). But, Bruins fans’ expectations are typically too high, so, I guess it’s not overly surprising to see him make this list either.
As for who was the most underwhelming player for me this season, I’d have to say Nick Ritchie. I didn’t love the trade at any point given it was Heinen going the other way for what even at the time appeared to be a lesser player. But, once he got here, I really hated it. I tried to be optimistic at first and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I had some hope that he’d bring good physicality and chip in some points here and there. However, he did none of that. All he did was throw dirty hits that put the Bruins in terrible positions. So, I’ll say he was the most underwhelming player on the Bruins roster for me this past season.
Who Do Fans Most Want the Bruins to Trade For?
Gotta respect Bruins fans for keeping it realistic in the latest New England Sports Survey: pic.twitter.com/CATMuexha5
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) November 18, 2020
Connor McDavid Is Completely Unrealistic
In no universe are the Bruins going to get Connor McDavid. Granted, the survey question did not say the answers had to be realistic. But, it’s not hard to assume they probably wanted them to be, because obviously, any team would want to get Connor McDavid if they could. But, he’s not available on the market, and the Bruins do not have the resources to get him even if he was and not decimate the rest of their team. So it’s just stupid and pointless to say you want him.
Carey Price, Really?
The other answers were no better. None of the players on this list are available via trade, and again, the Bruins don’t have the resources for any of them even if they were. As frankly stupid as all of the answers are, none of them are worse than Carey Price. I can see wanting the other four players, but Carey Price? That’s a hard no.
Bruins fans despise Tuukka, and you saw just how much in the previous poll, in part due to his contract. Well, Price costs another $3.5 million, and he is far from worth it. He may have returned to his prime form during the playoffs, but he can’t keep that up during the regular season. But, to be fair, he would be behind a much better team if he were on the Bruins, so his regular-season numbers would come up. However, he’s on the wrong side of 30 and has been declining year to year, so they won’t come up anywhere near enough to justify the price tag. That alone should make fans realize how bad of an idea it’d be to get him.
Outside of that, it just makes no sense that he’s on that list. Bruins fans say Rask can’t win big games because he’s never won a Cup. Neither has Price. If you’re going to use something against one player, you have to use it against everyone. You can’t just pick and choose and think you aren’t going to look even stupider than you already do. Also, there is just no universe in which the Bruins and Canadiens make a trade. So there’s no logic behind saying you want Carey Price. None.
To summarize my semi-coherent rant, I don’t want any of these players. Not only are they just not available, but even if they were, the Bruins would have to decimate their current roster to acquire them, and that’s just plain stupid. As for which player I want them to acquire the most, that’s a tough one. Kyle Palmieri would be a great fit, and he’s definitely a possible deadline acquisition for them this season given his pending UFA status and the Devils’ almost-guaranteed seller status. MacKenzie Weegar was another one I liked too to fill in on the left side, but the Panthers re-signed him a few weeks ago, so that’s not happening anymore.
Other than those two, there’s really no one specific that comes to mind. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I think the Bruins are perfectly fine as is, so I haven’t really been looking for players they should acquire. So, I’ll say that as of right now, Palmieri is the player I’d most like them to acquire. This is particularly true if Ondrej Kase doesn’t work out on the second line, because then they’ll really need a second-line winger like Palmieri. The only possible issue with him is it may cost a lot to acquire him. If that’s the case, they should and likely will stay away. If it’s not though, then by all means they should go after him!
As you can see, I have a lot of thoughts about these survey results. Very few of them are nice. The first survey had two players on it that could’ve redeemed it if Rask wasn’t number one. I feel like a good part of why he ended up there was because he put his family first and left the bubble when his daughter had a medical emergency. But, fans who still believe he shouldn’t have left really need to get their priorities straight. He did what any good father would do. That aside, none of the other likely reasons were valid either. So, it’s just an unredeemable decision.
As for the second list, it simply makes no sense. While the survey didn’t specify it had to be realistic, it’s not hard to conclude that that’s probably what they wanted. Virtually any team would want those players (except for Carey Price), but they’re not on the market and would cost a king’s ransom even if they were. So, there’s no point in saying you want them because it’s just not going to happen.
Overall, my expectations were low for these surveys, since Bruins fans as a whole are not known for being the most reasonable bunch. But, this was far worse than I thought. Both of them are just mind-bogglingly unreasonable for the most part. So, I’ll be going back to trying to ignore the not-so-fun side of the Bruins fanbase until they skew survey results like this again and I feel like writing another piece like this.
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
Featured image courtesy of Icon Sportswire via Pittsburgh Hockey Now.