Extracting Value From the Rebuilding Boston Bruins

With the Patriots success without Tom Brady and the Red Sox on their way to the match, expectations for New England’s hockey team will be extremely large — and unless they overachieve, Bruins backers will more than likely be disappointed with the merchandise Cam Neely has built for the upcoming season. Anticipate head coach Claude Julien’s butt to be implanted firmly in the hot seat this season as his job security may be in question if the Bruins fail to make the playoffs for the third straight year.
Boston missed the playoffs by just 3 points last season after finishing with a respectable 93 points but left a few improvements into some roster with more than its share of rust. Zdeno Chara is far from your Norris winner that he was he’s now on the wrong side of 40 and Tuukka Rask made serious regressions in a 2015-16 effort that saw him finish outside the top 20 in save percentage.
If this team is to succeed, it will have to score and score a whole lot, something I’m not sure it’s capable of. Past the very first line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Backes — that had a combined 90 aims and 173 points in 2015-16 — that there isn’t a ton of goal-scoring experience with this roster. The projected second and third lines for Boston combined to score only 73 goals for their respective teams last season.
Stanley Cup +2500
The most important question here is really this — can a team with a single strong line, no defense and a fighting Tuukka Rask create the playoffs and win four straight seven-game series? I have some severe doubts and unless Rask returns to Vezina form, this still-rebuilding team has essentially no opportunity to win another Cup this season.
Another hit to the Bruins’ Stanley Cup chances is that only 1 team in the last 20 years has missed the playoffs and then gone on to win the Cup the next season.
Eastern Conference +1200
For nearly a decade, in the event that you wished to gauge how your team stacked up in the Eastern Conference, you used the Bruins as a reference. They earned conference titles in 2010-11 and 2012-13 and kept stacking their method by trading celebrities like Joe Thornton, Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin. That paradigm, however, has changed as Boston is now rebuilding and trying to shed some of the dead weight currently holding down the team.
Making the Stanley Cup final and winning a third conference title in the last seven years would have a miraculous streak that I’m not sure that this team is up for.
Atlantic Division +650
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the absolute class of the Atlantic Division right now and it will be a hard job for any team — let alone the Bruins — to finish the season before Steven Stamkos along with the Bolts.
Boston’s last division title came in the 2013-14 season when the Bruins finished atop the Atlantic from the first year of the newest branch realignment that saw the Detroit Red Wings unite the Eastern Conference. The Bruins also ended the season with the most points in the league that year, making the Presidents’ Trophy — that is something this team won’t be doing.
Complete OVER/UNDER 93.5
BetOnline appears to be right on the ball with these OVER/UNDER point totals and I have not actually found any that I love or find much worth betting. As mentioned, Boston had just 93 points annually and didn’t find much tangibly worse or better in almost any category. If you put a gun to my head, I’d say UNDER due to the parity I feel will exist among the teams battling for the wild-card playoff spots this season.
Brad Marchand to Fight the League in Goal Scoring +2500
Boston will somehow need to make up for the 30 goals they dropped when Loui Eriksson signed with the Vancouver Canucks at the offseason and Brad Marchand would be the beneficiary. It is a clear long shot with guys like Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin still in their primes, but Marchand finished sixth in the Maurice”Rocket” Richard Trophy race every season with his career-high 37 goals only 13 rear of Ovi’s league-leading 50 and he’s still playing elite playmaker Patrice Bergeron, who appears to get better every year.

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