The season is almost here. As the Detroit Red Wings prepare for their final season at Joe Louis Arena and a 26th consecutive appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoff, We look at how they’ll stack up against the rest of the division. Winged Octopus got together with different blogs who cover the teams in the Atlantic Division to put together a proper preview of the Atlantic Division.
We started off our preview looking at the Montreal Canadiens. Now we move down to Boston to look at the Bruins. Boston is looking to rebound from their collapse during their final game against Ottawa that caused them to miss the playoffs. Today we have Lauren from CLNS Radio to preview this seasons Boston Bruins team.
It’s almost that time of the year to break out the eight-spoked B jersey’s as the Boston Bruins 2016-17 season is right around the corner.
Last season, the Bruins missed the playoffs after accumulating 93 points with a 42-31-9 record. They finished fourth in the Atlantic Division and ninth overall in the Eastern Conference. Their 240 goals were good for fifth in the NHL and they were tied for 19th overall in the league with 230 goals against.
Despite having the same number of points as the Detroit Red Wings, the B’s had one fewer regulation win or overtime, which gave the Wings the edge.
During the offseason, there was a lot of speculation Boston would make some type of big move – maybe even sign Boston-native Jimmy Vesey. However, Vesey ended up signing with the New York Rangers.
However, the Bruins did make some moves with their current players. The team re-signed Torey Krug to a four-year, $21 million extension. In his 81 games played in the 2015-16 season, Krug had four goals and 44 assists.
Krug, who has proven to be a consistent defenseman for the Bruins, could be relied on this season to help the defense be consistent throughout the season.
Another move the black and gold made was buying out the contract of Dennis Seidenberg. He had two years remaining on his contract with a $4 million salary cap hit. The defenseman was owed $7 million through the 2018 season.
The 35-year-old has yet to sign with another NHL team.
Boston’s biggest and most notable move they made in the offseason was signing David Backes to a five-year contract and will be paid $6 million per year. The center joins Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci at the position and can also play the wing position.
However, if the B’s decided to play Backes at wing, people have questioned as to why they didn’t just re-sign Loui Eriksson, who signed with the Vancouver Canucks. Both players roughly produce the same amount of points but Eriksson was able to produce better puck possession at even strength.
Some of Bruins Nation believes the team brought in Backes in order for the team to trade away Krejci rather than giving head coach Claude Julien more options on the penalty kill.
Speaking of the penalty kill, the greatest loss the Bruins suffered was the loss of Doug Houda, who was let go this past summer and is now with the Red Wings. One constant strength the Bruins always had was their penalty kill, and without Houda behind it, who knows if it will be the same for the 2016-17 season.
Although the B’s have let go of some serious talent over the last few years and most of their best players are over the age of 30, I think this is the year we will see the organization make a serious trade with the farm system they have.
Boston will need their goalie Tuukka Rask to be at his best this season and goaltending could be what separates the B’s from other teams in their division this season. The team will need Rask to recreate his 2012-13 season given the questions the team faces with their defense.
After all is said and done, the Bruins will finish third in the division, with Tampa Bay and Detroit locking up the top two spots. I don’t expect this team to be a Stanley Cup team and if they make the playoffs this year, I don’t expect them to make it past the first round.