// Bruins 2009-2010 Season Preview

The Boston Bruins finished the 2008-2009 season on a sour note, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Conference Semifinals. Now without Phil Kessel, the Bruins will be looking to avenge the last year’s defeat as they eye the team’s first Stanley Cup since 1973.

Bruins 2009-2010 Season Preview: Forwards

Last season, the Boston Bruins scored 274 goals, second only to the Detroit Red Wings’ 295. With Phil Kessel (36 goals), Michael Ryder (27), and Marc Savard (25) leading the way, the B’s coupled their smothering defense with a potent offense that earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference. While their efforts fell short, no one can doubt the team’s offensive ability.

However, the Bruins’ front office has still not re-signed Kessel, a restricted free agent, and it seems most likely that he will not be rejoining the team this season. There have been very few signings, especially of forwards, made by the Bruins this off-season, which has many fans concerned that the offense will not perform as well as it did. It is certainly a valid point, but this line-by-line preview of the team’s forwards should dispel such a fear. [Read more…]

Bruins 2009-2010 Season Preview: Defensemen

The defensive corps performed well above expectations last season for the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins, and heading into this year’s campaign, the blue line brigade hopes to continue their dominating ways. After a season in which the B’s led the entire NHL with a strong 2.32 goals against average, the team is coming into this season looking to prove that what we saw last year wasn’t just a one-year fluke.

The offseason brought change to the group who will do the dirty work for Boston, as we saw the free agent departures of Shane Hnidy to Minnesota and Steve Montador to Buffalo, while a surprising trade of veteran Aaron Ward to Carolina highlighted what was regarded as a relatively quiet summer for GM Peter Chiarelli’s Bruins.

Now, we take a closer look at the defensemen who will suit up for Boston in the upcoming season, a season with the highest of expectations. [Read more…]

Bruins 2009-2010 Preview: Goaltenders

The Bruins had a wildly successful 2008-2009 season, finishing with a 53-19-10 record, but a disappointing second round exit at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes. All in all, the team improved tremendously from the year before, and still looks to be an NHL powerhouse as we move into the next decade.

One big reason for the Bruins’ success was a league-best crew of goaltenders. The men between the pipes were brick walls all season, and the best of the bunch (Tim Thomas) signed a long-term contract that will keep him in Black and Gold for the rest of his career.

So, how will Thomas and rookie goaltender Tuuka Rask handle the rigors of the upcoming season? Will the team take a step back as a result of the goaltending, or because of other factors? Or, is this team ready to hoist Lord Stanley? [Read more…]

Bruins 2009-2010 Season Preview: Prospects

Remember the days of yore where players such as Mark Stuart, Matt Hunwick and Patrice Bergeron were just players doing their best to crack a roster spot? Since then, the team is on the rise, but as is the case with any good NHL franchise (see: Detroit Red Wings), the foundation is laid within the organization and their prospects.

Appearing to have set spots on this year’s big league Bruins are defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who won the Eddie Shore award last season in the AHL with Providence, center Vladimir Sobotka, and goaltending phenom Tuuka Rask, who spent yet another year down in Rhode Island.

However, injuries are an inevitable evil in hockey and there are a great deal of prospects to keep an eye on this season down on the farm. [Read more…]

SoB’s Brian Kintz Previews the Eastern Conference:

SoB’s 2009-2010 NHL Pick ‘Em

Nine of SoB’s finest will compete in the first annual NHL Pick ‘Em, which joins a long successful string of NFL, NBA, and MLB Pick ‘Ems. I will admit, my NHL knowledge isn’t up to snuff when compared to my knowledge of the other three major sports, but if there’s a game I can compete in, I’ll be there!

The Bruins are coming off a very successful 2008-2009 campaign, and none of the staffers expect the Bruins to falter much, even considering the the Phil Kessel trade. Few of us expect the Canadiens to make the playoffs, in part because they had such a large roster overhaul, and because, well…they’re the Canadiens. [Read on to see the picks…]