Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins.svg

The 2011 Stanley Cup champions, Boston remains built around much of that same core. David Pastrnak has emerged as a bonafide superstar in his first three seasons, and alongside veterans Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron form one of the league’s most consistent and talented first lines.
Charlie McAvoy had a great rookie campaign, totalling 32 points in 63 games, and alongside Jake DeBrusk, Ryan Donato, and Brandon Carlo round out the pieces of an impressive young core.
The playoffs came to a swift end for Boston after a gruelling 7-game series against Toronto, as they petered out in five games against Tampa Bay.
While Zdeno Chara is closer to the end of his career than the start, he still puts in the highest average time of ice on anyone on the team. Torey Krug’s 59 points, although aided by a strong power play, are nothing to scoff at, as he’s proven himself as one of the league’s biggest offensive threats from the blue line. Tuukka Rask hasn’t been a Vezina-calibre goalie for a few seasons now, but he’s still among the league’s top netminders when he’s on his game. He didn’t lose a game in regulation from December 4th until February 10th, a stretch of 19 games. Backing him up is Jaroslav Halak, an up and down goalie but someone who should be a more than serviceable backup option. He’s probably not stealing any playoff series, but has started enough in the league to give Boston the confidence to run him more nights than your typical #2 goalie. Other than Halak, the team didn’t add anyone of note in free agency, but did let rental Rick Nash walk as he was likely commanding a higher fee than they were willing to pay for. As of time of writing, he still remains without a contract, the highest cap hit from any player last year to remain unsigned.
The team isn’t free of bad contracts: David Backes’ 33 points off $6 million still has another three seasons on it, but having all of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak for under $21 million eases the pain there a little bit. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has done a great job getting the most out of his roster, and though general manager Don Sweeney may have made some infamous blunders in the 2016 draft, has overall improved the roster to be one of the league’s best.
Boston’s prospects don’t have much of a chance of making a sizeable impact on this roster, as there’s maybe one or two spots that head into camp unclaimed. For the neutral viewer, the 2017-18 Boston Bruins will be almost the exact same makeup as the previous season, with a similar level of quality to be expected.
Boston’s window might be closing soon as Bergeron, Chara, and Rask age themselves out of their peak performing zone, especially if Chara ends up retiring. But for this upcoming season at least, they should be roaring out of the gate, and looking to challenge for another deep playoff run.

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