After setting all kinds of records during the 2022-23 season, and having one of the best goaltending duos to boot, the Boston Bruins entered the playoffs with plenty of hopes and dreams. Those dreams, unfortunately, would stay that way as they fell in short of a Stanley Cup Finals appearance – falling to the Florida Panthers in seven games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
In the offseason, the Bruins lost a few players to free agency and trades, and they even lost two longtime players to retirement: Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci. First, it was Bergeron, and then it trickled out that Krejci would be as well.
With Bergeron, Krejci, and others gone, who replaces fills their gaping holes?
Yes, last year, was a fantastic year for the Bruins, there is no doubting that. From winning the President’s Trophy, to setting an NHL record in points with 135, and, on top of all that, having the best goaltending duo in the league, they had a fantastic season before being bounced from the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The question now becomes: how do they top last season?
It’s tough to, that’s for sure, but considering how much came out of that season, there is some positivity as shown through the coaching staff and the front office’s ability to replace the names they lost.
Throughout the offseason, the Bruins have signed a few players to take the place of those who will now be playing elsewhere such as James van Riemsdyk, Morgan Geekie, and also organizing a reunion with Milan Lucic, among others.
They were also able to resign restricted free agent center Trent Frederic, and goaltender Jeremy Swayman. They were also able to resign unrestricted free agent Pavel Zacha.
Why does all this equate to optimism?
The reason all of this can be looked at as optimism is because that they may have lost a few players to some offseason activity, it is not as if the team was not built to replace them.
Now, don’t get me wrong, losing Bergeron, and Krejci, to retirement is going to be a huge hole to fill on the top lines at the centerman role, but you can’t tell me that Boston isn’t prepared for a world without Krejci. After all, the team did make the playoffs without him the year before.
The Bruins may have a lot of new (or new-ish, in Lucic’s case) faces, and they do need time to mesh together, but that’s what the preseason is for.
The fact that they are new though, is also a benefit to them when facing teams that they struggled against last year. It gives them an opportunity for those teams to have to prepare extra hard for Boston.
Fans should be excited for Boston to defend their records last year. It may be extremely difficult to top some of the records they set last year, let alone match them, but instead of being discouraged, look for the Bruins to use what they have to their advantage and get back to the playoffs, at the very least.
This year, they should just remember one thing: slow and steady wins the race.