Alright Bruins Nation, here it is. I predict that the Bruins will win the Eastern Conference this season and hoist the Prince of Whales trophy!
The Red Wings may win the cup, but I'm sure the Bruins will make it to the finals. I was going over it in my head the other day and the more I think about it the more confident I become.
With the additions of Patrice Bergeron, Manny Fernandez, and Michael Ryder, I don't think any team can beat the Bruins in a seven game series. I'm confident the Bruins will easily win the Northeast division. The Bruins are the only team that got a lot better over the off-season. Buffalo and Toronto are poised to have losing seasons again. Montreal and Ottawa will take 2 and 3 in the division, respectively. Montreal and Ottawa did improve over the off-season but not nearly as much as the Bruins did.
As for the playoffs, two teams scare me a little bit: the New York Rangers and The Pittsburgh Penguins. The New York Rangers were already a very good team. They lost Sean Avery, but they got Markus Naslund and Wade Redden. As for the Pittsburgh Penguins, they had some decent signings, but none can make up for the loss of Marian Hossa. That being said, Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are amazing. Both New York and Pittsburgh have legitimate shots at beating the Bruins, but I doubt in a 7 game series either of them could beat the Bruins four times. The Bruins just have a stronger team
The Bruins have two top goaltenders in all-star Tim Thomas and former Wild (team and style) starter Manny Fernandez. Our offense includes potential 30 goal scorers in Patrice Bergeron, Michael Ryder, Marco Sturm, Chuck Kobasew, Glen Murray, and Marc Savard (he may not get 30 goals, but he'll assist on everyone else's). The offense also consists of youngsters Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Vladimir Sobotka who could easily have breakout seasons.
On Defense, the Bruins have Zdeno Chara, Andrew Alberts, Aaron Ward, Dennis Wideman, Andrew Ference, and Mark Stuart, all capable of playing over 20 solid minutes. Shane Hnidy struggled a little bit but was solid in the playoffs and is a great depth player. The Bruins also have talented young defensemen in Matt Lashoff and Matt Hunwick who could easily make a mark in the NHL this season.
Most important of all, the Bruins will have Claude Julien. Julien did wonders with the injured Bruins last season and this season his system will only be stronger.
Bottom Line: These Bruins are going far!