A Disappointing Season for the Boston Bruins

A Disappointing Season for the Boston Bruins

staffwriter

An editorial by Marisa Clark
The Boston Bruins ended the regular season this year with a less than astonishing record of 39-30-13 (39 wins, 30 losses, and 13 overtime wins); for the majority of the season, their play was painful to watch. The offensive energy wasn’t there, especially compared to last year when the team ranked second in goals per game and led the Eastern Conference going into the playoffs. The team was plagued with injuries and this had a serious effect on its play. Marc Savard and Milan Lucic both spent significant amounts of time out this year, and have previously shown themselves to be highly effective in creating energy and scoring. Savard had 10 goals and 23 assists in 40 games (roughly half the season), and while Lucic is not known for his goal scoring abilities (9 goals, and 11 assists in his 50 games played), his pugilistic talents get the crowd into the game and bring energy to the rest of the team, raising the excitement and bringing the playing level up a notch.

Having only occasionally watched the Bruins games this year and followed them very casually, I was quite shocked when I checked the Conference standings in April to find that the Bruins had made the playoffs. It was even more of a surprise to see that the team had finished sixth in the conference, above hated rivals the Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins advanced to the second round of the playoffs by defeating the third ranked Buffalo Sabres, a familiar opponent from their division. The Bruins will play the Philadelphia Flyers in the next round.

Four of the five Northeast Division teams made the playoffs (the Buffalo Sabres, the Ottawa Senators, the Boston Bruins, and the Montreal Canadiens), taking up half of the eight slots in the Eastern Conference playoffs. With all the upsets in the Eastern Conference this year, it’s possible that the Bruins have a chance to get to the Stanley Cup. Despite its impressive playoff run so far, the team had a very disappointing regular season. Hopefully this can be addressed in the upcoming offseason, potentially with the Bruins’ second overall draft pick. The Bruins primarily need offense, which was abysmal over the course of the season, and the they were last in the league in goals per game. The top two prospects are Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall. Seguin is a center from Plymouth, and Hall is a left wing from Windsor; both are strong offensively, and potentially ready to play at the NHL level next year.

This year, the Bruins’ play was substandard and their goal-scoring was absent or injured; goal-tending and defense were the only areas that saved them. One of the world’s best up-and-coming goalies,  Tuukka Rask, who had the league’s best save percentage, shared the crease with last year’s Vezina trophy winner, Tim Thomas.  The Bruins’ defense has been capable, without being exceptional, and it was frequently left to the goalies to be the only line of defense. Without their quality goal-tending, the Bruins’ miraculous playoffs run would have been impossible. With any luck, the Bruins will recover next year and become a force to contend with in the Eastern Conference, but they aren’t playing like a top-ranked professional hockey team this year.

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