The season is about to start and for one team this means that their Stanley cup title defense begins. The Boston Bruins look to repeat another very dominate campaign and try to go back to back Stanley cups, something that isn’t common in today’s NHL. Although the core of the team remains they have lost and added some pieces. This Bruins team should be interesting because some of the younger players could see a lot more ice time.
The Bruins have a good crop of young talent that could jump in at anytime. Jordan Caron and Steven Kampfer will both see significant time with the big club. Kampfer will be a regular for the entire season as he was last year before injuries and added depth defenceman for the playoffs. Jordan Caron will have to take someone’s job or wait in the wings for an injury but already has the confidence of his coach that he can play. Tyler Seguin will see his ice time increased and will be on a powerplay unit. It’s time for Seguin to have a full solid pro season and start producing decent numbers at the pro level. If injuries happen to some key players we could see Seguin in a top pairing and playing top minutes. Matt Bartkoski who was the last player cut from last years camp will be starting the season with the big club due to a recent injury to Steven Kampfer, who will be out 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL.
Benoit Pouliot, Chris Clark, Joe Corvo
Playing with the Bruins Pouliot could finally become the player that everyone knows he is capable of becoming. With his size and shot he could easily put up 20 goals. Playing for the Bruins means you need to finish your checks, play hard and play tough, something Pouliot was never told to do with Minnesota or Montreal. Surrounded by bigger teammates and being backed by the Bruins faithful will give Pouliot that extra push to use his body and become a power-forward.
Joe Corvo is a solid pick up. A complete 180 from Tomas Kaberle, Corvo can hit and he shoots the puck. He will be seeing powerplay time and could play bigger minutes if injuries occur.
Tomas Kaberle, Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder, Shane Hindy, Marc Savard
The biggest loss besides Savard is Michael Ryder. During the season Ryder had his ups and downs but during the playoffs he showed up in a big way. Bringing in Pouliot makes up for losing Ryder if Pouliot can remain consistent.
It will be a different feel for the locker room not having Mark Recchi to get the team ready. Adding Chris Clark gives the Bruins that veteran leadership. Chris Clark has yet to be signed to a contract and is currently on a try-out.
Clark, Bartkoski, Caron, Kampfer
The goaltending duo of Thomas and Rask will be one of the best in the NHL. If Tim Thomas has a slow start Tuukka Rask will gladly take the net from him.
With not many key changes and the young players getting better I feel the Bruins will be right where they were last season. Although there were improvements in Buffalo and Toronto the Bruins have a great chance at winning the division. The Capitals, Rangers and Flyers have added some key pieces but the Bruins will continue being a top team in the East and compete for the Stanley cup.
Can the Bruins stay healthy?
Will they get the sparks from players like Marchand, Seguin and Thomas as they did in last seasons playoffs?
Will we see the Vezina Tim Thomas play or will Rask have to take charge?
Will we see slumps from the teams key sophomores?
My pre-season prediction
2nd in the division
6th in the conference
Make it past the first round in the playoffs.
By: Anthony Stella
Follow me on Twitter: @Anthonystelll