Bruins Playing Father Time
The Boston Bruins completed a 107 point regular season with an Eastern Conference championship this year. The Bruins came one win short of hoisting Lord Stanley losing to the St. Louis Blues at home in Game 7. The Bruins will go into next season with many members of their central core Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask above the age of 30. The team will need to stay healthy next season to make another run at the title, but should once again if healthy be a playoff team.
The age of the core is an issue for the team from Beantown. Pasternak one of the club’s younger players scored 81 points in 66 games. The club needs to look into possibly adding another forward preferably younger at a reasonable price. The Bruins pressure point is time and whether their top players can continue to play at a high level as the Atlantic Division continues to grow younger.
The line of Bergeron, Marchand, and Pasternak continued to give nightmare to defensive duos this past season. Marchand finished with 36 goals and 64 assists totaling 100 points, Pasternak scored 38 goals, and Bergeron finished with 79 points in 65 games. Rask continued his solid play in net with 2.48 goals against average in the regular season and 2.02 goals against average in the playoffs.
Chara will enter the next season at the age of the 42 the club did not play at the same level despite their victory in Game 6 after Chara broke his jaw in Game 4. Chara’s average time on the ice was considerably lower in the team’s losses in Game 5 and Game 7. Chara still averaged over 21 minutes of ice time per game this season. The Bruins are reliant on the older Chara to play at a higher level, placing pressure to have younger defensemen emerge and garner more playing time and Chara to stay healthy.
The club should continue to excel as long as they stay healthy going into next season. The club will need younger talent to emerge and take the pressure off the veterans in the upcoming season. The expectation is without help from younger players the long playoff run this season may cause the Bruins to struggle at times next season.
The Bruins current odds to win the Stanley Cup are 10/1, and the Bruins current odds to win the Eastern Conference are 5/1.
The Bruins current overall grade is B+.
The article is an extended commentary as part of the end of the season NHL State of the Union.
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