It will be hard for the Boston Bruins to do better this season than they did last season. To be more specific, they will have to win it all, because last year the Bruins made it back to the Stanley Cup Final, only to lose a tough series to the Chicago Blackhawks, with the final game of that series being particularly rending for the Bruins and their fans. It would not have been surprising to see the Bruins rest on their laurels and just try and trot out the same roster this season and hope for better luck. However, Boston had no interest in laurel resting.
The Bruins made arguably the biggest move of the offseason when they traded away the former second overall pick Tyler Seguin to Dallas, bringing back Loui Eriksson. It was a surprise to see Boston give up Seguin, but they didn't bring back a slouch in Eriksson. I really like him as a player. Right now, he's better than Seguin, and this is a team with the ability to win now. Eriksson can light the lamp, and he has some excellent teammates around him. Down the road, the Bruins may regret this deal, because character concerns or not I expect Seguin to be a great player. However, for right now, Eriksson will bring more value to the Bruins, even when you throw in the fact that Rich Peverley also went to Dallas in the deal.
Boston also swapped out one veteran hoping to hoist the Cup for another, as Jaromir Jagr has been replaced by Jarome Iginla,w ho is finally a Bruin. On the other hand, they do not have a replacement for Nathan Horton, who headed off to Columbus on a big deal. That being said, this team still has some very good players on offense, such as Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Milan Lucic.
Then, there is their defense, which remains led by Zdeno Chara, perhaps the best blueliner in the NHL, and thus the world. Take that, defensemen in the Swedish Elite League! In addition to solid players such as Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg, a couple young defensemen seem likely to step up this season. Torey Krug was certainly fun to watch in the postseason last year, and Dougie Hamilton showed promise as well, Throw on top of that the excellent goalie Tuukka Rask. He's proven himself to be one of the league's best starters. Boston has questions in terms of their backup, but as long as Rask is healthy the Bruins will be fine in net.
The Bruins will make the playoffs again. I consider them the favorite to win the new Atlantic Division, which is the old Northeast Division plus Detroit, Florida, and Tampa Bay. They will be one of the league's top goal prevention teams. They are a Stanley Cup contender. They may very well be the top team in the East. Boston fell just short last season, but this year things could be different.