The leaves are falling which means it’s time for hockey. One of my favorite times of the year. Last year saw the Bruins go on a rampage on their way to a Stanley Cup final game 7 in which many expected them to runaway with but instead feel victim to the Blues 4-1.
That was last year and these 2019-2020 Bruins are as hungry as ever. I don’t know if anyone remembers, but the year after they lost the 2013 final the Bruins followed it up with a president’s trophy. They also just put up 8 goals in a dang preseason game! That should never happen regardless of who you’re on the ice against. The Bruins will have their work cut out for them however as there are 3 contenders in their division with Tampa, and Toronto.
So, for these Bruins, it’s pretty much cup or bust for them. They kept the same core despite losing Acciari to the Panthers and Johansson to the Sabres. This team is aging as well and this could very well be it for a lot of them like Bergeron, Krejci, Backes, Chara and maybe even Rask.
David Backes admitted to using a figure skater to up his game so he is looking to add more skill rather than be an enforcer like he has been. David is looked at as washed up but in my honest opinion, he gets the job done. He is not worth 6 million but he is definitely a piece the Bruins want to keep despite benching him in game 7 against his former team.
Last year saw a cycle of players get a shot at that 2nd line right wing position alongside Krejci until Johansson came in and started to fill it. Then, he got hurt and Karson Kuhlman came in and played extremely well for a young rookie. I believe this year will see a better Kuhlman on that wing and Krejci’s experience will propel him into a star role on this team.
Now, onto the lingering question. Brad Marchand. Can he follow up his 100 point season with another consistent performance? My answer is yes but only if he shuts his rat trap and lets his line mates who are the best in the game set him up. Brad is probably a top 5 player in the league and if he just stopped his antics already he would be respected as such by most in this league or just hated like Tom Brady for being so damn good.
My biggest bold prediction is that Connor Clifton will learn from Torey Krug and elevate his game tenfold, and maybe even fight for Torey’s spot on that second line.
Another bold prediction is that the Bruins beat the Lightning in 3 of 4 games this season. The Bruins seem to win the big one in the regular season, especially when it counts so expect these to be hotly contested but the Bruins come out victorious in at least 3 of 4.
Lastly, and I know anything could happen but I have the Bruins winning the division and winning the Stanley Cup just because of the drive of all these players and the fact that this may be their last chance at a long run. However, if this team pulls together like last year and Marchand doesn’t skate off for a change with 12 seconds left in a period then they will come out as Stanley cup champions for the seventh time in their history.