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Boston Bruins year in review


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PRESEASON OUTLOOK: After collapsing down the stretch in 2014-15 and narrowly missing the postseason the Bruins made some hard decisions, dealing long time face of the team Milan Lucic and young defender Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith away as well as letting Carl Soderberg walk. New GM Don Sweeney swore the team would make the postseason this year.


FINAL RECORD: 42-31-9 9th place in the East missing playoffsth?id=OIP.Mbe6062a6345e48c7db391ba7c8271


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR: Zdeno Chara may need more beauty sleep, he remained a stud at night (8-28-36 and plus 16) but in day games (8 games 1 point, minus 6) he was positively dreadful. Perhaps the Bruins may have to consider resting him in day games going forward.


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: The Bruins made a few last minute deals at the deadline adding Lee Stempniak and John Michael Liles and the team responded right after the deadline, pulling into first in their division on March 12th with a nifty 3-1 victory over the fading Islanders. The playoffs seemed a lock and the Division crown was within reach with a record at that point of 39-23-8.


LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: Pretty much everything from that day on. They went on a five game losing streak, losing 9 of the last 12 games including a humiliating home loss on the last day of the season to the Senators by a final score of 6-1 to miss the playoffs. They gave up an insane 42 goals in the final 12 games and were outscored 42-27 in that stretch.


WHAT WENT RIGHT: Patrice Bergeron (32-36-68 1,130 faceoff wins to lead the league) was healthy and was near perfect. Brad th?id=OIP.Mef30dd8bc59847b65863b86473674Marchand (37 goals, 90 PIMs) became the spiritual leader of the team. Torrey Krug (4-40-44) became an offensive force on the back end. David Krejci (17-46-63) battled injuries but was more than solid when healthy. Loui Eriksson (30-33-63) had a wonderful year. Ryan Spooner established himself as a middle six forward with upside. Matt Beleskey proved worthy of his contract.  Landon Ferraro established himself as a fine fourth liner.


WHAT WENT WRONG: Charath?id=OIP.Med41ca4debb42919d63cf8283dbe1, in spite of peripheral decent numbers is becoming a huge human pylon in defense. Jimmy Hayes came over for Reilly smith, Smith in Florida outscored Hayes 50 to 29. Tuuka Rask (2.56 goals against) was good one game, awful the next all year. Hus backup, Jonas Gustafsson (2.72 goals against) was worse. Highly touted David Pastrnak was a disappointment with 15 goals. Chris Kelly and his contract were non entities. Dennis Seidenberg is not aging gracefully, in fact he may be done as anything other than a 6 or even 7 d-man. Lots of kids saw ice time, other than Spooner none really impressed.


MVP: Bergeron over Marchand by a hair. Without those two, the Bruins would have been one of the 5 worst teams in Hockey.


FREE AGENTS: loui Eriksson heads the list, his departure would make the Seguin deal look even worse. Stempniak and Liles were rentals and almost certainly goners. Chris Kelly is finally off the books. Gustafsson will likely be in Europe next season remembered for the finale against Ottawa where he gave up 6 goals. Max Talbot, Kevan Miller and Matt Irwin are all gone as well.


TOP PROSPECTS FOR 2016-17: Malcomth?id=OIP.Me0bcf13355ed72a86f77e971f69e7 Subban will almost certainly have a portion of the net next year. Frank Vatrano showed flashes this year and should claim a bottom six role next season. For some reason the Bruins are high on Joe Morrow and Colin Miller and both should be regulars on the Blueline next year although I think both are highly overrated as anything other than fillers. Seth Griffith should stick among the forwards.


QUESTON MARKS: Two straight seasons collapsing down the stretch has the franchise in disarray. If they lose Eriksson without a return it would be devastating. Chara is aging poorly, not sure what to do about it. Can the kid forwards, namely Pastrnak and Spooner fill a bigger role?


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Rask had an average season last year I think Subban will have to earn the backup role out of camp as I see the Bruins signing a backup netminder.   On the other hand, having Subban make the roster will definitely push Rask to a higher level of play next season.


I think I'd put a low but fair offer at Eriksson and let him walk and test the waters, maybe I'm wrong but I don't think teams will be throwing him buckets of money.  


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