Charlie Jacobs on a window of opportunity for Bruins: ‘I do believe we’ll be right back there’
|05.20.14 at 2:55 pm ET|
With a talented core and a young group of complimentary players in the fold, Bruins management and ownership feels there won’t be a drop-off in performance for while.
As a matter of fact, owner Jeremy Jacobs, son Charlie and team president Cam Neely said Tuesday during their season-ending media availability that there’s no reason to think the Bruins aren’t poised for another run at the Stanley Cup in 2015.
“[There’s] a tremendous amount of confidence in our both on-ice leadership and off-the-ice leadership,” Charlie Jacobs said. “A lot of character in our dressing room, and it starts with Zee [Zdeno Chara], but listen ‘ there are a lot of complimentary pieces, and when you consider Patrice [Bergeron] and Krech [David Krejci], and we may have lost something with Andy Ference but we picked it up with Jarome [Iginla]. And then there’s a lot of character and leadership, and they held each other accountable, and you saw in your exit interviews ‘ they all felt as though they maybe didn’t necessarily play their best but they let the team down, and that meant more to them than, say, their individual stats. And I think that speaks volumes about the mentality in the locker room itself, and that’s what you aspire to have.”
The Bruins reportedly did suffer a bit of a hit Tuesday with word that assistant general manager Jim Benning has been named general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, replacing the fired Mike Gillis.
“In terms of our organizational leadership, I think with Cam [Neely] and Peter [Chiarelli] and Don Sweeney and Jim [Benning], they’ve done a great job of really trying to assemble a mixture of both veteran and some young leadership to bring us back to the promised-land,” Charlie Jacobs added. “And you need that mix. You need the right mix. We maybe erred a bit, a little bit, in terms of having too many inexperienced defensemen. If you think about it, really only two of them ‘ two veterans on the back line this postseason. But as my dad referred to, that will pay dividends as you progress moving forward. So listen, I have great faith in both aspects. I do believe we’ll be right back there. I expect that we’ll be back there. Stranger things have happened, but I hope we start right out of the gate where we left off in March, not necessarily at the end of April.”
What does Neely think of the team’s window of opportunity for excellence?
“I feel, because of the way we played in the regular season, we haven’t fallen off the cliff,” Neely said. “We didn’t play as well as we needed to play in the second round, and from my perspective, it’s ‘ as a group, we didn’t play the way we were playing in March and in April. We still have ‘ our core group, aside from maybe Zee [Zdeno Chara], our core group is still relatively young. You’re talking mid- to late-twenties, maybe. And Zdeno is still, in my opinion, the best defender in the game. So I still think we’re in our window. We just have to recognize what we need to do to make our team better, whether it’s guys playing better or whether we’re adding different players.”
Added owner Jeremy Jacobs: “I think management, in hockey, it’s more evolutionary than revolutionary, in the sense that you evolve these teams. You evolve these players and have the opportunity to do it. It’s a team sport, not so much a star sport. We’re seeing more of that. So I think what you’re seeing is what I consider to be an extraordinarily well-managed team. Spent a lot of time at that level, and I think we’re harvesting, again, that investment in this quote unquote institution. So I expect this to continue on, into the future.”