On day three of 32 Groups in 31 Days, we tackle the Boston Bruins. The Bruins are simply nonetheless on the highest 4 groups within the Atlantic Division, however are getting nearer to being on the skin wanting in. Identical to final season, I can see Boston as one other wild card candidate going into this season. However why may that be?
The Bruins have been an extremely profitable group for nearly 20 years now. One of many dynasties of the trendy period, for the reason that yr 2000 the Bruins have solely missed the playoffs six instances in 22 seasons. And in 2011, they lifted their sixth championship after defeating the Vancouver Canucks in seven video games. They nearly lifted two extra Stanley Cups if they’d not misplaced to Chicago in 2013 and St. Louis in 2019. Maintaining collectively a core of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Tuuka Rask, and David Krejčí for years allowed the Bruins to take care of a particularly excessive degree of success. They really have been and have been probably the greatest groups within the Jap Convention for an extremely very long time.
New youth like present Boston Stars David Pastrňak and Charlie McAvoy entered the fold, and have supplied super help in recent times for the Bruins to take care of their success. Pasta has confirmed he’s a multi-40 objective scorer and probably the greatest within the league, whereas McAvoy is well one of many high 5 finest defensemen within the NHL. However because the years moved on, gamers acquired older and rosters modified. Older guys like former captain Chara and Krejčí moved on from the membership, whether or not it was retirement or seeking to quench that thirst for an additional Stanley Cup. Chara performed a bit for the Capitals and extra lately went again to his unique group the Islanders earlier than retiring. Krejčí retired from the NHL final yr to play in his dwelling nation, Czechia. And now their present core is not wanting prefer it’s getting any youthful.
Do not get me mistaken, assuming Bergeron will get a contract accomplished with the B’s, the Bruins are nonetheless a proficient group. Bergeron and Marchand, alongside Pastrňak have shaped one of the vital dominant strains in hockey. Each are gamers who can rating 70 to 80 factors a season and may dominate on either side of the ice. To not point out they nonetheless have guys like Taylor Corridor and David Pastrňák who can generate their very own offense and rating once they need to.
But, Boston hasn’t actually added anybody this low season as they’re nonetheless making an attempt to navigate the signing of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejčí, whereas additionally making an attempt to offer current acquisition Pavel Zacha a brand new contract. Boston is beginning to enter the twilight of their competition window. All of their key gamers are both 30 or older (with a couple of exceptions). Bergeron is 37, Krejčí is 36, Brad Marchand is 34, Taylor Corridor and Charlie Coyle are each 30. Moreover them, McAvoy and Pasta are the one younger items which have franchise potential. And solely McAvoy is at present locked up as he has his eight-year deal in place.
Boston goes to go for one ultimate push with this group earlier than they take into account urgent the reset button on the franchise. They nonetheless have an awesome goaltending tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman who stepped up after Rask all of a sudden stepped away from the sport. They have been near edging out the Carolina Hurricanes final yr and nonetheless have main potential to push deep into the playoffs.
I consider they nonetheless have about two good years to push for all of it earlier than they lastly resolve to retool. In the event that they signal Pastrňak to an extension quickly, it is going to put them in an excellent place if and or when Bergeron and Marchand both retire or transfer on from the Bruins. However the competitors within the Atlantic Division is rising. The Tampa Bay Lightning have proven no indicators of slowing down after making three straight finals appearances and successful two Stanley Cups within the final three years. The Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs are one sequence win away from turning the nook for his or her franchises. And younger groups just like the Detroit Pink Wings and the Ottawa Senators are slowly however absolutely on the rise. So the Bruins may be coming to the tip of an period.
However, if one factor is for certain, similar to all Boston sports activities groups, the Bruins will discover a solution to proceed to be aggressive for so long as potential. As a result of Boston loves being a metropolis of champions.