BOSTON, Mass. — We all know how last season ended. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on your home ice and the team comes up short. The Bruins watched St. Louis hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup on the TD Garden ice back in June, and they could not wait for the 2019-20 season to avenge it.
Boston returns a dependable veteran core and skilled mix of young talent that climbed to the peak of hockey last year and came ever so close. The Bruins expect to reach the same stage with a different result, and it shows in their impressive start to this new season.
The scoring is capped off by a star-studded first line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. Although the Bruins currently lack secondary scoring from lines 2-4, the team is not suffering in the standings for it. As of Oct. 16, Bruins forwards excluding the top line have only created 3 goals and 6 assists. Another oddity so far is the Bruins have scored 10 first period goals and only 4 second period goals. To Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, this is a sign of a lack of persistent effort that will “come back to bite the team in the rear end” if changes are not made soon enough.
A tough schedule lies ahead for the Bruins, headlined by a Saturday night Stanley Cup rematch with the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 26 at TD Garden. The following night, Boston travels to Madison Square Garden for a Sunday night matchup with the New York Rangers and newly-acquired forward Artemi Panarin. The upcoming stretch of games figures as an early test to this hopeful Stanley Cup contending team.
Despite an excellent supply of depth at the forward spot and playmaking centers like Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, the Bruins require a spark in scoring from their supporting lines. Boston returns a strong backend unit with returning captain Zdeno Chara and young defensemen Torey Krug and the newly-extended Charlie McAvoy. The defense matches up as one of the best in the Eastern Conference on paper, and expects to prove its force in the regular season. The partnership of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halák at goalie also provides the Bruins the stability they need to contend.
While the Bruins have the weapons to make a returning run at the Stanley Cup, a long and unpredictable regular season awaits them. This two-week stretch of games will be pivotal for the team in how they fare against some of the better teams in the league. Stay tuned.