Last season was not the best for the Boston Bruins. As fans will remember, the team ended the season a measly two points away from a spot in the playoffs that was taken by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
New general manager Don Sweeney has the same plan in mind that the team has been trying to implement for years – recreate the magic of the 2011 season. Sweeney plans to accomplish this by keeping as many core players in their positions as possible while shuffling in a few young guns to spice up the Bruins’ formula.
In an atypically decisive move, forward Milan Lucic was traded to the L.A. Kings. Since the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup victory, the Kings have won two Cups of their own, and were early favorites to win again last season.
Dougie Hamilton, a fan favorite and a key defensive player for the team, was traded to the Calgary Flames. As a result of trades like this, the Bruins currently hold two first round draft picks.
Fortunately, there are talks of picking up Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets. The talented and versatile player has played as both a forward and defenseman in the NHL, and is sure to add defensive and offensive support should he come to Boston.
David Pastrnak has proven to be a beacon of light for the Bruins. The talented Czech forward came up
from the Providence Bruins and put up 27 points over the course of last season. Pastrnak is also the youngest player in the NHL. His presence will ensure that the second line of Belesky-Krejci-Pastrnak will be quite explosive, while relative newcomer Loui Eriksson will keep up the goal-scoring success of the first line with the scrappy Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
Tuukka Rask made franchise record last season by playing 70 games. This was largely due to the lack of a reliable backup, but this season may play out differently in front of the net. Allegedly the competition for the second goalie spot is stiff, and one of the
frontrunners is AHL Providence Bruin Malcolm Subban, who, as Bruins fans will note, is part of a quite successful NHL dynasty.
David Krejci, Zdeno Chara and Dennis McQuaid, among other players, missed many games due to injury last season which significantly hampered the success of the team, especially on the defensive end.
Going into this season with the team’s good health, continued focus on the four-line attack, and a healthy dose of young talent is sure to bring a resurgence to Bruins hockey, and should lead the team far into the postseason.