Last Season: For the 2011-2012 season the Boston Bruins made it to the first round of the playoffs and were eliminated in the seventh and final game of the series against the Washington Capitals in overtime after Joel Ward put a goal past Tim Thomas, advancing the Capitals. The Bruins finished the season with a record of 49-29-4 for 102 points, clinching their Division.
- Benoit Pouliot: Pouliot’s rights were traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a draft pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He filled the skates of Michael Ryder as a third line forward and spent some time alongside Milan Lucic on the second line. He posted 16 goals and 16 assists in 74 games for Boston.
- Joe Corvo: Corvo was no re-assigned to Boston after his contract expired at the end of the season and he went to free agency. He was picked up by the Carolina Hurricanes (again) and signed a two-year deal. Corvo finished his season with Boston with 4 goals and 21 assists.
- Tim Thomas: He’s sitting his final contract year out to focus on “faith, family and friends.”
- Mike Mottau: While he was looking to be re-assigned by the Bruins once the lockout ended and get an invitation to training camp, he signed a tryout deal with the San Antonio Rampage and has been playing with them for the past month and a half.
- Brian Rolston: Acquired after the trade deadline last season, came back to Boston and posted 3 goals and 12 assists in 21 games.
- Marty Turco: Also acquired after the trade deadline, came out of semi-retirement. He tried to relieve Thomas in preparation for playoffs after Rask’s injury, but the change of pace from European league to NHL was a little much to handle.
- Greg Zanon: Now playing for the Colorado Avalanche, registered 1 goal and 1 assist in 17 games with Boston.
Who Are You?
- Malcolm Subban: Acquired in the NHL Draft this season. He will most likely not make the jump to the NHL this season given his inexperience. However, he did post impressive numbers with Team Canada for the World Junior Championship games, despite not placing.
- Chris Bourque: Legend Ray Bourque’s son (one of them). He’s spent his time playing with the Providence Bruins and is expected to fill the third line on the Bruins this season with the injury of Jordan Caron happening. He leads the P-Bruins with 28 points, 8 goals and 20 assists.
- Aaron Johnson: Acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the off season. He played in 56 games for the Blue Jackets and posted 3 goals and 13 assists.
Filling in the Gaps:
The Providence Bruins have a lot of players who are able to step up to the plate and fill the gaps that make-up the Bruins roster. Unfortunately, the gaps are limited to one position, a third-line center that is 99.9% guaranteed to Chris Bourque. Ryan Spooner along with P-Bruins alternate captain Jamie Tardif should make good competition against Bourque, and are expected to participate in the Bruins training camp.
And the Award Goes To…
With a shortened season a handful of Bruins have a tremendous opportunity to shine. Tyler Seguin is coming off of a blowout sophomore season, leading the team in points last season. He was also the leading scorer for the Swiss Elite League prior to coming back to the states. The possibility of him taking the MVP award for this season over guys like Stamkos, Crosby and Malkin are quite plausible.
With the signing of the core to the Bruins team of the Stanley Cup run in 2011, the focus remains on the team to perform well with the bar being set at nothing short of dominance. The roster this team is heading into the season is one that consisted of 12 players overseas, the most of nay other team around the League and one that has stayed consistent through the past three seasons putting others a big disadvantage.
What’s There to Worry About?
The main concerns regarding this team are:
- How will Tuukka Rask perform as number one goaltender?
- Will Nathan Horton be able to remain healthy the entire season?
- Is Adam McQuaid‘s health still a reason to be concerned?
Rask proved to all of the critics, teammates and fans alike that he is more than ready to take on the lead role. He proverbially carried his team on his back while playing for HC Plzen of the Czech League possessing a 92.8 save percentage and stellar goals against average.
Nathan Horton has reportedly been ready to go since the original start of the season in September, feeling better than he has in months. He no longer gets the nagging headaches that are common with concussion injuries. Bruins fans just have to remain hopeful that he won’t sustain any cheap shots from Sestito or Torres (thankfully who is still suspended) this season.
McQuaid, though he may be clumsy, is also ready to go. He is reportedly in better physical condition that many have seen him and he is feeling great. He just underwent surgery to repair a blood clot under his collar bone that made his arm “blow up”, but he is ready to go and ready for the season to get underway.