In less than 24hrs the Boston Bruins waved goodbye to the teams number one defensman and the teams number one goaltender. Leaving beatown are Nicklas Lidstrom and Nikolai Khabibulin. Lidstrom 39 and Khabibulin 36 both appear to be part of a youth movement, at least that was what we are left to assume since the returnees are much younger. Joining the Bruins are Tom Gilbert, a 26 year old defensman who fell out of favor in San Jose, Anthony Stewart a 24 yr old winger who players with an edge, Jason Williams a 29 year old utility forward who can play any role a coach asks for and Tomas Vokoun a 33 year old tender who is now one of the top rated tenders in the Eastern Conference.
Both San Jose and St. Louis have struggled out of the gate, the Bruins haven't so much stumbled but management sees things a different way. 'We have a very soft schedule to open up with 5 games at home against non playoff teams. We did well, we expected to, but the last 5 games has given us a better look at where we stand in the conference and as our team stood, we felt we needed some changes. Getting younger is never a bad thing but that wasn't the intent, rather its trying to get better all over...in a cap league trades are tough to do and some flexability will go a long way towards where we see ourseleves by game 82'.
The Bruins have a little bit of a break over the next few days, when they host the Devils at home on Wednesday night. The time will be used to shuffle lines and fit in the new players as well as getting them used to the 3-2-1 system coach Bryan Murray employes. As far as next moves, no one is safe with Jiri Hudler and Drew Stafford being told to 'stay close to the phone over the next few days'. Whether that means anything remains to be seen, but based on the last 24hrs anything is possible.