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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Bruins Update: Troubled Waters Ahead?

The Boston Bruins kicked off their season on Oct. 8 with high expectations from fans and analysts alike. After being eliminated in the second round of the Playoffs by the Canadiens, last year’s President’s Trophy winners hope to come in and make a deeper playoff run and, ultimately, lift the Stanley Cup. Their lack of significant offseason moves, however, could prove to be their downfall.
The Bruins lost future Hall of Famer, Jarome Iginla, to the Colorado Avalanche in free agency this past offseason. Iginla (61 points) was one of the top scorers on last year’s team and shared the lead in goals scored with Patrice Bergeron.
Iginla was also led the team in goals in the playoffs, netting five over their Bruins 12 game run. Losing the scoring prowess that Iginla displayed on the line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic could prove to be a challenging hurdle for the 2014-2015 Bruins to overcome.
The trade of Johnny Boychuk late in the preseason left many fans angry and confused. The Bruins face a tough situation in dealing with their salary cap, and many speculate that trading Boychuk and his $3.36 million cap hit to the New York Islanders was a move to ultimately give them a little bit of breathing room.
Boychuk, a fan-favorite for his hard-hitting style and his rocket of a slap shot, scored five goals and had 18 assists during the 2013-2014 season. The Bruins will rely on the likes of Adam McQuaid, Kevin Millar, and the newly re-signed Torey Krug to help fill the void left by the veteran.
Speaking of Krug, the Bruins were able to re-sign him and Reilly Smith during the offseason. The two young stars, who were both restricted free agents, had decided to hold out during training camp until they received new contracts, with some analysts speculating that the two wanted close to $3 million per season.
Peter Chiarelli was able to sign the two to one-year contracts, each with $1.4 million cap hits. The move could prove to be costly if the team decides to re-sign them at the end of the season, but having the two on the ice for this year is a much better solution than having them sit out or sign with another team.
So what do these offseason moves mean to the Bruins as they enter the season? Despite playing in the inferior Eastern Conference, the team plays in the tough Atlantic Division. Overcoming teams like the Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Detroit Red Wings to make the playoffs will be a challenge.
The loss of guys like Boychuk, Iginla, and Shawn Thornton will be difficult for Boston as they start the season and try to find their footing, and an early-season injury to first-line center David Krejci may also hinder the scoring ability of the team.
Ultimately, you can expect the Bruins to make the playoffs this season and certainly have a shot at winning their division. They face stiff competition within their division, but if the team can stay healthy and make it to the playoffs, analysts predict that the Bruins could be the Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in five seasons.