Review Of 2011-2012: 49-29-4, 102 Points, 2nd in Eastern Conference, Lost series in first round to Washington, 4-3.
Additions via free agency: Daniel Paille, Chris Bourque, Garnet Exelby, Lane MacDermid, Matt Bartkowski, Aaron Johnson, Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell
Additions via trade: None
Subtractions: Tim Thomas, Brian Rolston, Benoit Pouliot, Marty Turco, Joe Corvo, Greg Zanon, Mike Mottau
Boston’s offense is the right mix of toughess, speed, and scoring ability, lead by Tyler Seguin last season, he put up 29 goals and 38 assists, shouldn’t be too hard for him to have a repeat, heck, ever a better season than last.
Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci solidify the center positions, with solid 60+ point season last year, and it could easily happen again this year. Tough guy Milan Lucic is at a high point in his career, he enters this season after two straight 60 point seasons, and last year throwing career high 201 hits, he also led the team in powerplay goals. Speaking of career highs, Brad Marchand had a career high in goals (including gamewinners), assists, and points last year, another solid center on this Bruins squad.
Rich Peverly and Chris Kelly also had great seasons in the center position, racking up 42 and 39 points respectively. Not to be forgotten, Nathan Horton was having another good season, shortened again by injuries, but a full healthy season could see him net 50-60 points.
Zdeno Chara still tops the defense of Boston, after putting up 52 points and a +/- of +33, Chara looks for a repeat this year, especially with his parter in crime, Dennis Seidenberg on his pairing. Johnny Boychuk and Andrew Ference look to solidify the 2nd pairing. Boychuk coming off a career 2nd best 24 points, and Boychuk with a career best +/- of +27. The real wildcard comes on the 3rd pairing with rookie Dougie Hamilton. Hamilton could potentially work on any pairing, with incredible potential, it isn’t hard to imagine him moving up in the ranks of The Bruins defense sooner, rather than later. The Bruins penalty kill looks to be on par with last year, with a new goalie in charge, it could change the stats a little, but no significant impact is expected. Boston will probably rank around the 13th-15th spot in PK percentage this year.
Tim Thomas will once again take the reigns for Boston…. wait, he won’t? What do you mean he took the year off? Well, Tuukka Rask gets his 2nd full reign in the Boston net (his last was in 09-10 when he started 45 games.). It’s showtime for Rask, and if his track record is any indication, he is up to the task with the team in front of him. The backup position is a bit more interesting, Anton Khudobin, a guy with only 7 games to his name, but a impressive 5-1 with 172 saves on 179 total shots, is ready for the backup role. Rask isn’t Thomas, but, after this season, Thomas’ spot on The Bruins roster, may be gone.
Prediction: 1st in Northeast, 2nd In East.
Still a very strong team that will be dogfighting for 1st in the east, but still think The Rangers will come out on top again this season. But, it isn’t hard to say Boston could run away with it if Rask comes in and dominates.
Tyler Seguin had a impressive first NHL season, will be interesting to see if he can have a even more explosive 3rd campaign. He should be able to hit the 30 goal mark this season, and, dare it be said, 40?