Interview With Stanley Cup of Chowder: Talking Providence Bruins, Hangovers, And More
As the Providence Bruins and the Manchester Monarchs get ready to square off tonight, we checked in with Sarah Connors and asked ten questions about Beantown hockey. Is there any hope for Ebenezer Jacobs?
1) Do you believe in the "Stanley Cup hangover"? Did players and coaches feel it affected them last season?
You know, I was very skeptical about it before the season started. In looking at the previous year's Cup winning team vs. the iteration of their team that started the season, they were really two completely different teams, whereas the only change the Bruins made to the lineup was the addition of Joe Corvo and Benoit Pouliot and subtractions of Michael Ryder, Mark Recchi, and Tomas Kaberle. The loss of Recchi made way for the Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line to come into existence. However....then, October happened. The Bruins won three of 10 games, losing seven of those in regulation. It was as if they needed a month to shake off the cobwebs and snap back into being great. And somehow that actually happened - November 1st started a streak of 15 games without a regulation loss, the only loss coming against Detroit on Black Friday in the shootout. So yes, to an extent, I do believe in the "Stanley Cup hangover" - insomuch that a shortened summer for the majority of the players blatantly affected the first month of the season, no more.
2) We hear a lot about your owner Jeremy Jacobs playing a leading role in these CBA negotiations. I read one article that called him "Ebenezer Jacobs out to steal Tiny Tim's cane again." What's your opinion of him? What's life for fans been like with him as an owner?
Not to sound like a super hipster but man, we hated Jeremy Jacobs way before it was cool. He was pretty much the primary reason the Bruins were so irritatingly mediocre for so many years. He would never go out and spend money on the big name players. To quote a sportswriter that I love, he's a "money-grubbing, penny-pinching, fleece-the-fans-until-it-hurts owner." And yeah, I bet he'd steal Tiny Tim's cane, then turn around and try to sell it back to him, because he's a jerkface.
3) The Bruins are an excellent team with players in their prime. I see them as one of the NHL's top contenders. Do you think your owner would be willing to sacrifice a whole season when his team has that at stake?
Sadly, yes, I do believe he would. And it's really sad, especially where Tuukka Rask is concerned - this was supposed to be the "bridge year" between Rask's entry-level contract and a big multi-year deal naming him the true future of the franchise in net now that Thomas is gone. The Bruins were screwed over in the last lockout - they lost out badly where UFAs were concerned. I'm really just hoping that doesn't happen again. Also Andrew Ference's contract expires after this season, if we lose him I'll be pretty mad.
4) Why do you think your GM signed players to long contracts this summer right before the deadline? Do you approve of the deals?
I was happy that the deals were for more than a year, just in case an entire season gets lost. The Tyler Seguin contract was right on the money. I'm a homer, but I honestly think that he's better than Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner, who both signed contracts that are incredibly comparable to Seguin's. (I think Skinner's is slightly less money for the same term, and Hall's has one more year, same dollar amount. They're very close to equal.) I really liked Marchand's deal, he's definitely one of the better forwards on this team, and $4.5M/year is a pretty good value.
Milan Lucic I believe was overpaid, but I also believe that there are other teams out there that'd have signed him for more money - so what can you do? Yeah, I generally approve of all of these contracts. The core of our team is locked up for a few years, which is good to know.
5) I'm envious that you guys have a chance to go to AHL games nearby. Who do you think will be the leading scorers for the P-Bruins this year?
I think Chris Bourque will be up there alongside Carter Camper and Ryan Spooner. Jordan Caron should do pretty well, too. I'm really pulling for Maxime Sauve to have a strong year, as well - he's been plagued by injury the last few years but was a really high draft choice.
6) Who should we watch for on the Providence blue line tonight?
Torey Krug. We signed him late in the season last year out of Michigan State. Kevan Miller did really well for us last year, as well. One cool thing - our blueline, with one exception, consists entirely of former NCAA players - if Garnet Exelby is scratched in favor of Zach Trotman, ever, we'll have an all-college blueline. So cool.
7) What can you tell us about former Bruin Andrew Bodnarchuk?
Bodnarchuk is a smallish offensive-defenseman who isn't afraid to mix it up a little. He's been with Providence for four years, and was somewhat of a fan favorite. I hope he does well for you guys.
8) Who has a better neck, Claude Julien or Barry Trotz?
What neck? Haha, gonna have to go homer here again and pick Julien. Trotz looks like a turtle.
9) The Bruins have done some snarky marketing. The Kings have a snarky Twitter feed. What do you think when other fans call Bruins Bear commercials "classless"?
I laugh. Man, how can you not laugh at the Bruins bear mocking lady Flyers fans for having mustaches, or Tampa fans for being old? Also I love the Kings' Twitter feed, it's brilliant.
10) What's the first word or phrase that first pops into your mind when I say "Montreal Canadiens"?
NO HABS NO. Alternately, am I allowed to use a GIF here? This is me during every Bruins/Habs game, ever.
[And on that note...mine is "Patrick Roy, noooooooo." Thanks, Sarah!]