Boston Bruins: What to Watch.

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Posted January 8, 2013 by Jason Balla in Sports
Rask

First, let me get this out of the way…

HOCKEYYYY!!!!!!

I can’t express how relieving it was to hear that the Owners and the NHLPA came to an agreement on Sunday. I’ve personally been pining for the season long before we knew the lockout was going to deprive us for 3 months. There was a point where, I think many of us can agree, we stopped caring. I’m here to let you know that it’s okay to care again…Finally.

So what are we putting our hearts on the line for this season? Well, here are a few things I think we need to keep our eyes on if we have any hope of getting through a competitive Eastern Conference this shortened season.

Life after Tim: Tim Thomas is on hiatus. I dont think he’ll be back. The B’s look to be going with Tuukka Rask to turn away the shots this season. I’m a little on the fence with him, I thought the Bruins could insure themselves a bit by bringing in a more experienced head in the offseason. Rask was a great prospect for the Bruins not too long ago, but his star faded quickly and Thomas took over. He’s getting a second chance to prove he’s ready to be the man here in Boston, and I really hope he takes it. However, I expect Rask to have a short leash, so if he gets out to a slow start it might be the final straw for him.

Less is More?: The lockout shortened season really has a nearly even amount of advantages as it does disadvantages. Here’s an advantage I really could see coming into play for us –  “East Coast” style hockey. We’ve played this way for years, and never was it better than in 2011 when we won the cup. The shortened season, if anything, means teams will be rusty, sloppy, ugly etc…Just what the Bruins style of hockey is geared to attack. Hard hitting, defensively sound and able to win when not everyone is up to snuff. Let’s hope a certain Z. Chara is still at his best even at age 35, playing the condensed schedule.

Overall: It’s really a crapshoot to say what might happen this season. I previously mentioned the Eastern Conference being especially loaded this year – with Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia all up there on the list of early cup contenders. But if we’ve learned anything, it’s that all you need to do is get into the playoffs. Once you’re there it’s whomever is playing their best hockey that will be left standing no matter what number seed we get. If Boston can remain decently healthy, and our younger guys (read: Tyler Seguin) play like they’re capable all year, you can put us right into that conversation. Which is all we can ask for.


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