Getting to know your enemy: The Boston Bruins

Jim Rogash

We wrap up the first week of our NHL preview with the runners up to Stanley Cup

Happy Friday Wilderness! Today we wrap up our first week of NHL previews. Don't fret though, we'll be back on Monday to finish up the Atlantic Division and start on that weirdly named division that reminds everyone of ice cream (maybe that's just me...).

Today friend of the Wilderness Cornelius Hardenbergh walks us through this seasons Boston Bruins team.

Offensive threats
Well, like all good things one of our most potent offensive threats has found its way to Dallas this offseason. Without Tyler Seguin, and for that matter Nathan Horton, the Bruins will have to cobble together an offense based on 2-time playoff leading scorer David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and some guys from the west named Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla. That's our top 6. The bottom six kicks in a bit, as well, and Johnny Boychuk had a heck of an offensive year last year. Our younger defensemen Krug and Hamilton should get ample time to score some points, and on top of all that we've got Norris Trophy Winner Zdeno Chara and his cannon of a slapshot.


Defensive threats
I'm not sure exactly what you mean but Bergeron and Chara only let one goal get past them last year when they were on the ice together. That's pretty good. Torey Krug turned into a scoring machine against New York, and young'n Dougie Hamilton should be putting fear into the hearts of the division soon enough (before he gets traded for being a good offensive defenseman who makes a couple big mistakes)


Un-sung heros

To be honest, they're few and far between because we've had 2 runs to the finals recently. Everyone's pretty much been "sung" except maybe Daniel Paille or Chris Kelly or something, but those guys get a decent amount of press for being great penalty killers.


Goaltending
Well, goaltending is pretty locked up. We just signed Tuukka rask to a huge deal, and he earned it. Rask is one of the better goalies in the league, and behind him in the pipeline we've got almost-AHL-mvp Niklas Svedberg, first-round-pick Malcolm Subban, and a couple others. The Bruins have had a focus on having good-to-great goaltending ever since Chiarelli showed up, and it's paid off.


Coaching
Claude Julien is the second-most-winningest coach in Bruins history. Some of that is due to the shootout era, but some of it is due to the team being damn good under his tenure. He won the Jack Adams in 2009, won a cup, and got us back to the finals 2 years later. I don't agree with every one of his decisions but in general I trust him to make the team win as much as possible. He seems good at that.


Prospects

The afore-mentioned goalies are pretty exciting, and then our young defense stepped up in a big way in last year's playoffs. Dougie Hamilton got sat, which I don't agree with, but Krug and Bartkowski both stepped up. There are some forwards projected to jump into the lineup this year in maybe Ryan Spooner or Cunningham. We're running a top 25 under 25 series right now, actually, so there should be more info soon.

How do you feel about the depth of your team?

Pretty great most of the time. If Bergeron or Chara sit out, we're in big trouble. But otherwise we're usually doing pretty well. The last 5-6 years have had our providence team keep losing good players to Boston and performing acceptably at worst. It's awesome. Is the pipeline still good? Again, I'm not sure but I feel good about things.

Who are your fan favorites, and why are they favorites?

- Zdeno Chara is huge and awesome. Also kinda funny in interviews.

- Patrice Bergeron is...perfect. In every way. Saint Patrice watches over us, amen.

- Shawn Thornton is our designated punching man. While he's not actually all that good at NHL hockey, he's been in a bunch of fights. He's pretty good at them. He's also been grooming himself for a media job for the last couple years, so he's a favorite because we keep hearing from him.

- Milan Lucic is like Shawn Thornton except he doesn't fight nearly as much and scores way way more. He's also just a huge dude. When he gets going, man...watch out. Can be credited with a couple major comebacks, including a large part of Game 7 vs. Toronto last year.

Who are must follow writers on twitter for your team?

the pros:

@GlobeFluto

@AmalieBenjamin just got moved from the Red Sox beat to the Bruins, but she was good at the Sox beat. Should be a good follow.

bloggers:

@_TyAnderson

@JustinDOY

@PezDOY

Everyone over at http://www.stanleycupofchowder.com/masthead

And then whoever these people RT are probably decent, as well.

Oh, and don't forget @ONTHEBRUINSBEAT

Who are must follow fans? (preferably non-crazy fans)

Instead of giving you a list of fans (a good chunk are in the "bloggers" section above) I'll leave you with @BruinsFacebook, which is actually just the worst things people post on the Bruins facebook page.
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