With opening night in the NHL hours away theres still question marks surrounding various teams. Especially highlighting the once powerhouse Boston Bruins. A deluge of moves highlighted the offseason with a noticeable amount of uncertainty as we inched closer to October. Early in the preseason Chara sustained an ‘upper body injury’ with a magnitude unknown to the public. As camp continued on, seemingly the number one story wasn’t ‘who’s going to make the team’ but ‘hows Chara’s injury doing?’ For more information click here.
Hours before puck drop on the opening season its been released that Chara wont even suit up for tonight’s game. With the absence of his long time partner Seidenberg, Bruins fans will get a good look at the pool of talent that’s been developing in the minor league. Perhaps for the best when you consider that both Chara and Seidenberg are on the wrong side of 30 and fading from their ‘elite’ status quickly. However, its not all doom and gloom when you look at the Bruins. New faces in new places offers up the potential for previously unknown chemistry. Perhaps there is the next Torey Krug suiting up for the Bruins tonight or the newest Brad Marchand. Time will tell…
Speaking of time this Bruins team is going to need plenty of it. I’m predicting a relatively sluggish start but by US thanksgiving this team will be firing on all cylinders. On top of that you better get use to trade rumors because you’ll be hearing them all year. To me there’s an X factor that comes with this team, for me it’ll be the third line of Hayes, Spooner, Connolly. That line has all the makings of becoming a shutdown line that can also score, with Hayes’ size and reach he could be a force in front of the net. I expect Spooner to return to his form last season. He makes perfect sense in the 3rd line center position. Finally we have Connolly who was shipped out of Tampa Bay last season for close to nothing, which came as a surprise to some hockey gurus. Connolly was a former first round pick who, if he can recapture his rhythm can make the Bruins 3rd line the best in the league.
Unlike in years past the Bruins will be leaning heavily on offense as a pose to defense. It’ll be interesting to see how the transition goes and if head coach Julien can command the focus, and game plan to make it all come together in away that allows foe the most success. This Bruins squad for all intensive purposes isn’t the most offensively talented.
It all begins tonight for the Bruins and by this time tomorrow I think well have a much better understanding of what’s appropriate to expect from this team.