Monday, January 7, 2013
What To Expect
The Bruins were surprisingly quiet this offseason as far as roster moves go. Picking up Christian Hanson, Garnet Exelby and Aaron Johnson from free agency, and acquiring Michael Ouellet from Tampa in the Pouliot deal, they hardly made any big splashes. I know before the lockout started, Phoenix and Boston were in talks to trade Krejci for Keith Yandle (In my opinion, that's a great deal, but I'll leave trade speculation for another day.)
So let's break down what you can expect this year:
Offense: Two words - Tyler Seguin. This team is at a point where the 20 year-old phenom could be tagged as the centerpiece of their offense. What's interesting to me is that the core of this teams offense, being Bergeron, Lucic, Seguin and Marchand, has not changed much since they won the Cup. This works because their offense isn't limping to the retirement home like some teams. Offense has never been an issue for the Bruins. Last year, the majority of the +/- leaders were Bruins, and dominantly so. I would look this year to see Seguin and the Selke winner Bergeron to have excellent seasons.
Defense: This is where things get a little dicey to me. Obviously Chara will be a crazy manbeast again, but the rest of the D will need to step up. Cue Dougie Hamilton. I've understood that the Bruins top prospect could see some time in the Garden this year, and I'm interested to see how he does. At 6' 5", Hamilton is a big dude and has been juggernaut for the OHL Niagara IceDogs, scoring 146 points in 181 games. That should raise interest in any Bruins fan. I'm not saying the Bruins defense is bad, but guys like Ference and Boychuk are going to need to step up.
Goalies: I'll get TT out of the way first. Long story short, Thomas isn't coming back anytime soon and in compliance with the new CBA rules, he could be the Bruins top candidate for a contract buyout. Now it's Rask's time to shine. Rask is a decent goalie, and in the last 3 seasons with Bruins played 97 games, posting a 0.926 save percentage. I think that he has a big opportunity in front of him here, but hes gotta stay healthy. With him healthy in net and Khudobin as his backup, the Bruins could be set for awhile with goaltending.
Out of all the teams in the Northeast Division, the Bruins are the only real threat. The East is a hot conference this year, and the Bruins will do their best to turn up that heat.