Dom Lunardo Aug 20th, 2019
Boston, Massachusetts. One of the most successful sports cities in all of North America. The city where the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and even the New England Patriots can flex their muscles to the rest of the die-hard sports fans from different cities across the U.S. who can only wish for such supremacy and bragging rights. Enter the good old Boston Bruins. The big, bad Bruins, Killer B’s, Bears, or Black and Gold. A historic, original-six franchise who hockey fans either love or hate…unless you’re from Boston, of course.
Whether it was at the old Boston Garden or the current TD Garden, Bruins fans over the years have been treated to wonderful players and championship-caliber teams. Players such as Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Cam Neely, Ray Bourque, Gerry Cheevers, Johnny Bucyk, Milt Schmidt, or Eddie Shore have donned the iconic Bruins sweater with pride. But even with a rich and illustrious history, this current crop of Bruins has the chance to be just as special.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, Charlie McAvoy, and Co, as the St. Louis Blues outfought the B’s in a pivotal game 7 matchup in Boston to hoist Lord Stanley last June. After disposing of the Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets, and Hurricanes, the Bruins found themselves in the Stanley Cup Finals for the third time in the past nine seasons. An impressive accomplishment to say the least for second-year Head Coach Bruce Cassidy and the front office consisting of team President Cam Neely and General Manager Don Sweeney. They desperately wanted to sip cold champagne out of the illustrious cup, but much to the chagrin of Bruins fans, it wasn’t in the cards in 2018/19. Thankfully, Bruins supporters from far and wide not only have a great hockey team at their fingertips. But they also have a prosperous future ahead of them as well, with serious talent coming down the pipeline.
Notable Off-Season Additions: F Brett Ritchie, F Par Lindholm
Notable Off-Season Subtractions: F Marcus Johansson, F Noel Acciari
Top Prospects: F Jack Studnicka, D Urho Vaakanainen, F Trent Frederic
Breakout Candidates: D Matt Grzelcyk, F Sean Kuraly
Restricted Free-Agents/ Biggest Priorities: D Charlie McAvoy, D Brandon Carlo
Team Summary: On the ice, the Bruins are once again a force to be reckoned with in a very competitive Eastern Conference. As an organization, the Bruins do as good a job as anyone across the NHL at consistently replenishing high-end talent from the net out. In addition, Don Sweeney and Bruce Cassidy recognize the importance of building and maintaining a winning culture with the perfect mix of veterans and youthful exuberance. Players such as Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk, Jake Debrusk, and Joakim Nordstrom are the perfect complement to veteran studs like Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand. It’s a testament to the Bruins front office from top to bottom who hold this team to the highest of standards both on and off the ice, year after year.
On the back end, standout players Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo are currently restricted free-agents and in need of new contracts respectively for the new campaign. Look for such situations to amicably play out in and around the start of training camp. Their impending signings represent a scary prospect for the rest of the NHL, to say the least. Once both McAvoy and Carlo are back in business on the Bruins blueline, it’s all systems go for a deep, talented, and experience Bruins squad.
Prediction: Consistent, hungry, and highly-competitive, the Bruins are a well-oiled machine poised for yet another deep Stanley Cup run. You can throw them in the hat of the 5-8 teams who have a legitimate chance of hoisting Lord Stanley next spring. Their near-perfect balance between veteran game-breakers such as Chara, Krejci, Marchand, and Bergeron and young players coming through the system, should give Bruins fans hopes of returning to the finals in the spring of 2020. Look for the killer B’s to be neck and neck with their Atlantic division counterparts, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs for home-ice throughout the playoffs.
Check out our other 2019-2020 NHL Team Previews:
Colorado Avalanche|Florida Panthers|Dallas Stars|Arizona Coyotes|New Jersey Devils|San Jose Sharks|Buffalo Sabres|Los Angeles Kings|Vancouver Canucks|Winnipeg Jets|Carolina Hurricanes
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images