The Opossum-Palooza

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NHL Preview: Boston Bruins

Hello, and welcome to the first of our thirty part series previewing the fast-approaching NHL season. Our subject today? The Boston Bruins.

For years, the Bruins have been something of a blight on the NHL. Like their original-six brethren in Chicago, their calling card was incompetent management. Their hallmark, tight purse strings. In spite of three straight playoff appearances, including two division titles in the relatively weak Northeast division, one got the sense that nothing was really right in Beantown, especially given their inability to make it out of the first round. The advent of the new, salary-capped NHL after last year’s lockout was supposed to help, but half way through an 05-06 campaign that would find them missing the playoffs for the first time in five years, the Bruins traded away their leading scorer (Joe Thornton, arguably the best player in the NHL) to San Jose, leaving many to wonder: What kind of crazy idiot would be willing sign with this team?

After wholesale changes in the front office and coaching staff, it didn’t take long during the offseason to find out. Zdeno Chara, probably the most sought after commodity on the market, was the cream of a surprisingly large free-agent crop for the suddenly free-spending Bruins. Overall, Boston has made sixteen free-agent signings to date during this offseason.

As a result, the Bruins look to be much improved this year after last season’s disappointing results. The addition of Chara adds an imposing blueline presence at both ends of the ice (Chara, if I remember correctly, is one of only three players in the NHL that are so tall, they need a special exemption to the NHL’s rules about stick length) and Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard provide a potent one-two punch up the middle. Not to mention rookie of the year (you heard it here first, folks) Phil Kessel. My prediction: An exit in the first round at the hands of division rival, Buffalo.

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At 1:17 PM, Blogger Nfld77 said...

Fair prediction..Ok, You think we'll make the playoffs, but where will we finish in standings?? My prediction is 5th in conference and we bow out to Carolina in 2nd rd..


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