Boston Bruins Season Previewby Liz Pendergraft September 27, 2021 0 comments
The Boston Bruins had a great 2020-21 season. Despite losing to the New York Islanders in the second round, fans would still call it a victory. Especially with a shortened season thanks to the pandemic. Boston is ready to go back to the playoffs, but the team is going to look slightly different. They’ll be missing a few critical components, but the new faces are sure to bring the needed manpower to push them back into the postseason.
With the NHL going back to regular divisions, the Bruins will have their hands full with teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs. They don’t want to discount the Florida Panthers either. Despite the competition, Boston is poised to be in the top three at the end of the season. Fans are looking forward to another deep run into the playoffs that might pay off with a bright, shiny Stanley Cup.
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Things are looking pretty good on this side of the puck. With players like David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Taylor Hall, and Nick Foligno, the Bruins are looking at three great lines. They might even be able to roll out four great lines with their depth and talent. It’s just going to be a matter of how their coach Bruce Cassidy decides to put the lines together. There’s no doubt about the depth at the wing, but the questions have been about the center position depth, especially since Boston lost David Krejci. There’s no doubt Patrice Bergeron will be the number one center, and Charlie Coyle will probably take the place Krejci held. No matter the arrangement, the Bruins are set to be a formidable offensive foe.
Boston lost Kevan Miller to retirement and Jeremy Lauzon to the Seattle Kracken in the offseason. During last season Cassidy paired Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk together with decent results. It’s thought that he’ll probably do the same this season. Fans and the coaching staff have hopes that Brandon Carlo will make a comeback after sustaining a concussion in March during a game with the Capitals. Mike Reilly was added to the blueline after he was acquired from the Ottowa Senators, and he had eight assists in 15 games. He resigned with Boston, with the hopes that his impact would be even more significant throughout an entire season. There are several more players ready to fight for spots on the team, but it will be a matter of how they will fit into the plans Cassidy has in mind.
Tuukka Rask is out for the season due to hip surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. The Bruins have Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman to defend the net in his place. It’s a good fit with them splitting time in the net. Though they can’t replace Rask, they will be able to backstop the Bruins and give them the chance to make it far into the playoffs.
He was able to score 14 points in 16 regular-season games after being traded to the Bruins, and then he was able to get five points in 11 games during the playoffs. So it looks like landing in Boston was a good thing for him, and if he can continue to rack up the points, Hall could be a breakout player this season.
Acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs, he’s a defensively responsible player who can bring versatility to the forward position. Fans are going to hope the injury he sustained toward the end of last season is better and that Boston will get the player everyone knows him to be.
Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman
They’re listed together because they’ll have to work together to take the place of Rask at least until January or February. It could possibly be longer than that. Ullmark’s skills are on par with some of the league’s best, and Swayman proved his worth to the Bruins at the AHL level. This duo should be a dynamic force in net.
Biggest Question Facing the Bruins
Will they be able to go all the way and play for the Stanley Cup? Maybe. The team is essentially the same, but there is the question about not having Rask backstopping the team. The goalies available will need to be up to the challenge. The rest of the team will need to play better than they did last year and keep their eyes on the goal. There’s no doubt the Bruins will make the postseason. It’s a matter of their desire to win, fueling their drive to succeed.
There’s no doubt the Bruins will make it back into the playoffs. However, they are still in a division with the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. The road will be difficult, but it’s not an impossible task. Fans will need to keep in mind it’s a long road to travel, but their beloved team will get there with their support. Making it past the first round only to lose in six games in the second round left them wanting more. Will this be the year they achieve it?
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