The Boston Bruins are gearing up for another NHL season, but this time, they seem to be going a little old school.
The offseason for the Bruins was quite interesting. After directing the Bruins to consistent playoff appearances through his 6 year tenure, there’s come a change in leadership for Boston. Head coach Bruce Cassidy was ousted as head coach, despite being considered one of the best coaches in the league. His replacement, Jim Montgomery, has spent the past 2 seasons being the assistant head coach to Craig Berube for the St. Louis Blues, and previously coached the University of Denver to an NCAA championship in 2016-17.
One of the biggest questions during the offseason, however, was Patrice Bergeron. Turning 37 in July, many questioned if last season would be his final year playing with the Bruins or even his final year in the league. Neely and Sweeney answered not just by signing him to a one-year deal this offseason, but also bringing back David Krejci from a 1-year break in the Czech Republic as well. Bergeron coming off a record-breaking 5th Selke Trophy season for best defensive forward in the league could help prove that this move isn’t just for nostalgia, and could truly help the Bruins.
With franchise centerpieces Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk all sidelined until at least November, the most promising thing to see in the preseason is prospects willing to take up the mantle, and the Bruins have had that in spades. After suffering an ACL tear just 10 games into last season, defenseman Jakub Zboril has shown so far that he is still capable of playing very strong defense. Pavel Zacha, so far, seems to be playing a hard-nosed puck retrieval game that would make Marchand’s absence barely noticeable. Finally, after spending 3 years at University of Michigan, center prospect Johnny Beecher is developing into a capable passer and shooter, having scored 2 goals in a 4-0 preseason win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
The Boston Bruins start their season on the road on October 12th at the Washington Capitals, with their home opener on the 15th against the Arizona Coyotes.