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2018-2019 NHL Preview: Boston Bruins

A young up and coming Bruins team

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Five Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2017-2018 standings. Twenty-Second up are the Boston Bruins who are in their 94th season in the NHL. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, the Bruins have made the playoffs five of the last seven years.

2017 – 2018 NHL Stats:

NHL Standings: 4th
Goals for Rank: 6th
Goals against Rank: 3rd
PP Rank: 4th
PK Rank: 3rd

Projected 2018-2019 NHL Stats

NHL Standings: 10th
Eastern Conference Standings: 5th
Atlantic Division Standings: 3rd
Coach: Bruce Cassidy (115-74-9 regular season; 9-15 playoffs)


The Bruins hold arguably the top top line with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. Behind that first line is a lot of potential. David Krejci and David Backes have shown what they are capable of but there is a load of potential in Jake DeBrusk, Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork (all 23 or younger). I think with this much young talent this team will be prone to streaky behavior both in wins and losses. Zdeno Chara is definitely on his final years in the NHL and can pass his tutelage onto Charlie McAvoy who will be a franchise defensemen for the Bruins. Torey Krug is very solid behind him and I have enough faith in Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller to be good shutdown defensive players. This team allowed the 2nd fewest shots against last year and the combination of positionally sound d-pair’s is a large reason why. Behind the strong defense is Tuuka Rask who had the ninth best GAA (2.36) and 18th best Sv % (.917) largely because he faced fewer shots than his goalie brethren. New addition Jaroslav will need to be solid in backup role, Anton Khudobin was strong with a 2.56 GAA and a .913 Sv % last year and if Tuuka needs a breather than Halak will need to do more of the same to keep them in competition. Bruce Cassidy filled in well behind Claude Julien two years ago and brought them a first round exit in the playoffs two years ago followed by a second round exit this past year. This team will be a force much like last year with a few cold stints surrounding the plethora of young talent on the team.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins - Game Four

Major Additions:

Jaroslav Halak

Major Subtractions:

Maxime Talbot, Tommy Wingels, Rick Nash (maybe)

Prospects and Picks:

-Ryan Donato. The 56th overall draft pick in 2014, Ryan spent the last three years at Harvard putting up a collective 104 points across 97 games. He was promoted to the Bruins for 12 games where he put up 5 goals and 9 total assists. In addition to all of this he played in the Olympic level games scoring a goal per game there as well.

-Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. Drafted 45th overall in 2015, the Swedish Center put up 63 points in 78 games playing with Charlie McAvoy at Boston University before joining the Providence Bruins in the AHL last year scoring 32 points in 58 games and playing just 1 game with the Bruins. He is a good backchecking center who will likely make the team serving as a 3rd or 4th line center for the Bruins this year.

Sleeper Fantasy Asset:

-Ryan Donato. I think there is a chance he gets bumped up to a top six player on the 2nd line with David Krejci and David Backes. IF that happens, than he is a 40+ point player who can be had for cheap in drafts. He is young and there is a chance he stays on the third line or struggles out of the gate so this is very much a roll of the dice, but it shouldn’t cost you much to take the gamble.

Cap Situation:

$77MM Spent; $1M in Cap room; 22 players signed; average team age 27.


Will Tuuka Rask be a top 5 goalie this year?

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