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30 Teams in 30 Days - Boston Bruins Written by Oilerfan4life - September 11th, 2009
Over the course of 30 days, yours truly is going to take a look at each team in the league, examine their off-season moves, assess the biggest issue facing the team, highlight a player or two to watch for, and finally give an outlook on the season.

Next up, the Boston Bruins.

 

Boston Bruins
Season 5: 36-35-7-4 (8th in East, 4th in Atlantic)
GM: Bruins-Ryan (6th Season)

Currently Projected Season 6 Roster:
(Incoming Player in Bold, Rookies in Italics)

Fedotenko - Crosby - St. Louis
Mursak - Fritsche - Lisin
Brashear - Slater - Ryno
Kvapil - Zeliska - Lehtonen

Boyle - Clark
Preissing - O’Brien
Nycholat - Syvret

Khabiebulin
Mason

What They Did In The Off-Season:

The Bruins managed to hang onto the 8th seed and finish just ahead of the pack of teams trying to sneak into the playoffs. They had the tools to pull off an upset but the top seeded Senators were too determined and eliminated Boston 5 games.

Quiet doesn’t even begin to describe the Bruins 2009 summer. The team was inactive during Free agency other than locking up their RFA’s and are perhaps the only team that hasn’t made a trade yet. The 2009 Draft also didn’t see Boston pick until the 3rd Round. The Bruins were hit hard by the CMHL retirements of Darius Kasparitas, Martin Straka, Jason Smith, Sergei Federov, and Antti Laaksonen. That is over 200 points the team will have to make up and with no new additions to the club that might be very tough to do. All 5 were CMHL veterans and were key figures in the dressing room. The club will now look elsewhere for that leadership and the focus will come upon Sidney Crosby.

Crosby had a career low of 88 points in his 3rd Pro season and with no immediate help on the horizon he will have his hands full this season. The big unit will likely consist of Crosby, Martin St. Louis, and Ruslan Fedotenko. These 3 will be the focus of the Bruins offense and some may argue, their only offensive threat.
Any secondary attack will have to come from the likes of Dan Fristche, Jan Mursak, and Enver Lisin. All are 24 years or younger and might be in over their head to replace the likes of Fedorov and Straka.

On the other end of the ice Boston looks a little stronger. The Loss of Smith and Kasparitas does hurt but Dan Boyle is one of the top defenseman in the league and like Crosby, the team will need to rally around him. Brett Clark is back and although he suffered a decrease in points(45 to 34) he is still counted to produce on the PP with his booming shot. Shane O’Brien and Tom Preissing round out the top 4 and neither have been tested in that role yet.

The one position that doesn’t seem to have weaken is between the pipes. Nikolai Khabiebulin returns and Chris Mason is back as well. The latter is one of the top backup goaltenders in the league and could start on a handful of teams as well. With the Bulin Wall firmly entrenched as the #1 goaltender, the time might be right to deal Mason. Its no secret the club has some holes to fill elsewhere and the return on a guy like Mason could help accomplish that. In the system the team also has Brian Elliot and Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec made headlines with multiple offer sheets being thrown his way. It resulted in him getting a 4 year deal at nearly $2 Million a season. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t played a game in the big leagues yet.

Biggest Issue Facing The Team:

Depth. This team needs it and they have a pretty bare farm cupboard. Their prospects are years away and the club doesn’t have a lot of options. Either stick with what you got and see what happens or move a goaltender or two and try to acquire some immediate help. The club could however be waiting for next summer which will have a massive amount of highly talented Free Agents. The only problem is it could be a long season before next summer hits.

Player To Watch:

Martin St. Louis - The tiny speedster has lost a step in his production and all eyes will be on him to regain his 90 point form. Being Crosby’s #1 target should help and it also happens to be a contract year. This could be the last big money deal he signs and that’s incentive for any player to step up. With the lack of options in Boston, we see St. Louis putting up a career season.

Season 6 Outlook:

As of right now I don’t see Boston as a playoff team. Too many teams have improved around them and although they have star players that will keep them competitive, it seems like too much of a reach to grab a Top 8 spot. It will be interesting to see if GM Ryan has some tricks up his sleeves or if he is just content to go with what he has in front of him and roll the dice.

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Comments:

Top notch analysis Andrew! The Bruins have definitely taken a step backwards this summer, much more so than I had initially thought before reading your article.

Written By: habsfan93 (2009-09-11 16:44:10)

Awesome job as usual Andrew! I neer realized how thin the Bruins are outside of Crosby and St. Louis up front. I definitely see them as the worst team in our division as it stand right now.

Written By: StajanFan (2009-09-11 17:56:21)

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