The Boston Bruins are set to open their season next Thursday night against the Nashville Predators. The Bruins made very few changes to their team in the offseason and are hoping that their youth will fill the gaps left by players who departed last season. The Bruins system has changed since Bruce Cassidy took over last season and they now have more of an offensive focus.
The Bruins made no huge changes to their team in the offseason and didn’t improve their team or subtract from their team. They lost depth players Dominic Moore, Colin Miller, Drew Stafford, Jimmy Hayes and Joe Morrow. No big names walked away from the team and for once the Bruins are looking to energize their lineup with youth instead of aging veterans on their bottom six they will have young guys who can put the puck in the back of the net like Anders Bjork, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and a full season of Frank Vatrano. These three have all had good preseason showings and can all score goals. If the Bruins want this rebuild on the fly to work these guys are going to have to step up big this year.
Bruce Cassidy is set to have a full season as the Bruins bench boss and it should make for an exciting year. Cassidy took over the Bruins last season and went 18-8-1 down the stretch. The Bruins top lines on offense should continue to hum with Pastrnak and Marchand leading the way. Players like Krejci, Backes and Spooner had down seasons compared to their usual numbers and if they can get back to normal under Cassidy the Bruins offense should start clicking once again.
The Bruins defense should be very different as opposed to seasons past. Although there hasn’t been much change to the core Charlie McAvoy adds another puck moving defenseman to the mix which the Bruins have only had one of (Krug). Now with those two guys the Bruins will have two defenseman who can successfully run a power play from the back end, creating two effective power play lines. The Bruins have historically had defenseman who are slow but can check Chara, Mcquaid, Miller but now each of those lines has a partner that is a stronger skater Carlo, McAvoy and Krug creating balance on the blue line.
In between the pipes Rask will be running the show of course but the backup situation is still up for grabs but Khudobin will likely get the nod. The Bruins have been in search for a solid backup goalie for a few years now and they need good performance from their backup so they don’t have to run Rask into the ground. If Khudobin can put up serviceable numbers then Rask can be in better shape down the stretch.
The Bruins will likely be postseason bound again and could even make a strong Cup run but that is very dependent on their youth. Although other teams in the Atlantic division made moves to improve their team the Bruins decided it’s time to let the kids play as opposed to adding veterans. This is a big season for the Bruins and hopefully for them the young kids can increase their third and fourth line production.
Written By Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)