The Bruins made an unlikely climb to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. This was the second time in three years that they were able to play for Lord Stanley's Cup. After losing the Northeast Division to the Canadiens and having to take the Maple Leafs to a game seven in the first round. They unleashed a miracle comeback coming from a three goal deficit in the last ten minutes to beat the Maple Leafs and carried that momentum into the Finals. Boston is hoping to take the next step this season and win it all.
Boston made some of the biggest moves of the off season in their quest to win the Stanley Cup during the 2013-2014 campaign. The most impactful move would have to be trading Tyle Seguin to Dallas for former Bruin Loui Eriksson in return. This was a move I really liked for the Bruins. They want to win right now and Boston management along with hockey fans across the world have lost their patience with Tyler Seguin. We have been waiting for Seguin to develop into the elite player which he was touted as and this trade gets the Bruins a guy who has the talent right now. Eriksson struggled out of the gate last season but the Swedish left winger finished the year with 29 points in 48 games in Dallas. Boston also finally got Jarome Iginla after the Penguins-Bruins-Iginla drama that occurred during the trade deadline last year. Jaromir Jagr is no longer a Bruin but they definitely got an upgrade in trading him out for Iginla. Nathan Horton is gone which is a big blow for the Bruins organization. Horton was probably one of the most underrated Bruins for the past couple of years. Andrew Ference is also gone and his leadership will be missed but the Bruins have the talent on the blue line to replace him and his on ice contributions should not be missed.
On offense the Bruins will return their standard cast of characters in Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Milan Lucic. Bergeron is one of the best two way forwards in league and if he can stay healthy this season he should be in line for a strong year. The offense should improve this season despite losing Rich Peverly, Tyler Seguin, and Nathan Horton. Eriksson is a dynamic and consistent forward who should fit in with the Bruins system. Iginla will also add some needed firepower at the top of the lineup. The Bruins are known for their defense play but they should take a step forward in scoring this season which makes them an even more elite team.
Defense is where the Bruins thrive and letting Andrew Ference go should signal just how much depth they have on the blue line. The top line with feature Zhedo Chara who is among the very best defenseman in the NHL. Pairing with Chara will be Dennis Seidenberg who is a young and budding star with room to get even better. Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid will likely make up the second line or be split between the Bruins two young defensive prospects. Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug showed that they have all of the skills to make an impact in the NHL. Putting Hamilton and Krug through a full 82 game season should only improve their skills. The Bruins have a top notch defense and should be prepared to hold the teams in the new Atlantic Division in check.
The Bruins will start Tukka Rask who put in an excellent season last year. Rask solidified his role as the unanimous starter with the absence of Tim Thomas. Rask had a 2.00 goals against average and a .929 SV% along with five shutouts over 36 games. Rask has never had to play a full season though so it is still questionable on how long he holds up and if he can keep his elite skill level up of the course of an entire season. Boston does not have much depth in the goaltender position. Chad Johnson is currently serving the role of backup goalie. He has only played 10 NHL games in his career but sports a 1.97 GAA in that span. Rask will need to stay healthy if the Bruins hope to take another run at the Stanley Cup.
Boston is an elite team at nearly every facet of the game. They are the current front runner in the Atlantic Division but making the playoffs is arguably going to be a tougher task in this new division. They will have to face the Red Wings, Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto. This division is no piece of cake but Boston should be able to remain on top this season and advance far into the playoffs.
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 10/1