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2018-19 Boston Bruins Preview

Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe
After an offseason full of questions, acquisitions, departures and a trip across the world for preseason hockey in China the Boston Bruins are ramping up for a very exciting 2018-19 regular season. The Bruins hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2011 and since that season have had several teams endure disappointing departures from the NHL playoffs. The window on the Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron era is starting to get smaller. Bruin’s management, specifically team President Cam Neely and General Manager Don Sweeney are desperately trying to put together a championship roster together while they still have a strong mix of veterans and young talent. 

The Boston Bruins open up the season on Wednesday against the Washington Capitals the reigning Stanley Cup champions. A major question facing the B’s is do they have enough weapons and depth to possibly hoist a cup this spring? 

The Offense:
The Bruins certainly have their fair share of exciting players and offensive surges available on the 18-19 roster. Patrice Bergeron, arguably the best two way player in the National Hockey League will highlight the group. Bergy, who has consistently been injury plagued throughout his career will hopefully find a way to stay healthy throughout the campaign and continue to offer leadership on and off the ice. Young gunners such as David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk and Ryan Donato look to build off successful seasons. This trio certainly possesses the potential to be the future of the Bruin’s offense. Donato made quite the impression with Bruins’ fans after finishing up at Harvard University and joining the club last spring. He tallied nine points in twelve regular season games while also making three appearances in the postseason. Returning veterans Brad Marchand, David Krejci and David Backes look to continue to support the young players and add to their impressive careers. Marchand needs to keep his nose clean this year and stay on the ice. He is simply too important to the Bruin’s offense to be missing time for unnecessary penalties. “The Little Ball of Hate” must attempt to turn over a new leaf without losing his feisty passion to win. 

The Defense:
There are certainly more uncertainties on defense as the Bruins are gearing up for the season. A late preseason injury suffered by Torey Krug will keep him off the ice for at least the first three weeks of the season. The team also said goodbye to old friend Adam McQuaid as he was dealt to the New York Rangers. McQuaid first appeared with the Bruins in the 2009 season and his tough gritty style will certainly be missed. The Bruins brought over Steven Kampfer in the McQuaid deal. Kampfer saves the Bruins a considerable amount of dough by swapping out his contract with McQuaid’s. 
Charlie McAvoy turned heads throughout his electric rookie campaign. The ceiling is certainly high for this phenom as he returns for his second full season. McAvoy was often paired with captain Zdeno Chara. Chara enters his 21st season in the league a very impressive feat for the 41 year old veteran. Chara continues a very impressive offseason regiment to be able to play at a competitive level. Big Z would love to win another Stanley Cup as he leads a much younger group of defensemen in the Bruins’ locker room. 

Head Coach, Bruce Cassidy almost had a bit of a controversy in net last season as Tuukka Rask got off to a slow start and Anton Khudobin was looking more like the ace in the hole. While Rask typically cannot be relied upon for the 82 game season he still has the numbers that support the argument that he is a top tier NHL goalie. Jaroslav Halak has been brought in to man the pipes when Rask is taking a night off. Halak has plenty of experience under his belt and appeared in 54 games for the New York Islanders last season. Halak has a career 2.50 goals against average. While it is important to have a solid backup goalie, Bruins fans are craving Rask to act like a true number one all season and to show up when it counts. 

With all of this being said the Bruins certainly have a lineup that is littered with potential. The Bruins have been victims of streaky play and injuries occurring at the wrong time over the past few seasons. While this is not easy to correct, Cassidy and the coaching staff must prepare a team to play well into the spring to be successful. Boston wants the cup, fans are hungry and ready for the 2018 season to begin. 

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