FanSided's 30 In 30 NHL Previews: Boston Bruins

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Bruins' captain Zdeno Chara leads the defending Stanley Cup champs into what could be another huge year in Boston (Image courtesy The Jim Rome Show)

Yesterday, Michael Lombardi of Ducks Daily Blog began FanSided’s NHL team previews with a look at his Anaheim Ducks.  Today, it’s the defending champions’ turn; Steve Kendall of Causeway Crowd previews what could be another special season in Boston.

When the 2010-11 season started, not many people were picking the Boston Bruins to hoist the Stanley Cup. However, on June 15, it was Zdeno Chara and his teammates finishing off a seventh-game win over the Vancouver Canucks to capture Boston’s first NHL championship since 1972.

This season, all eyes are on the Bruins, who bring back a majority of their championship squad, including Vezina and Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas, playoff leading scorer David Krejci, and Norris finalist Zdeno Chara. With depth at every position, a veteran presence, and skilled young players pushing for playing time, the Bruins are poised to make a run at becoming the NHL’s first back-to-back champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

To read the rest of this Bruins’ outlook, click here.

The Stanley Cup winners of last June will play the Devils four times (as is customary with all Northeast and Southeast division teams).  I included two of these games on my list of the top 15 of the Devils’ season.  The first of these takes place during a five-game road trip, as the Devils will visit the Garden on November 15th as the second game of these five.  The Bruins will then visit Prudential Center twice in a span of 16 days, on January 4th and January 19th (the latter of which also made the list, as the second game during a six-game homestand).  The two teams’ final matchup takes place on March 1st in Boston.  For each of these matchups, we should expect some buzz in either arena; the Garden should be rocking all season, and surely there will be a few extra fans in the building when the defending champions visit New Jersey.

As for the Bruins’ outlook, Boston can once again expect to see a team contending for a Stanley Cup.  Despite losing Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi from last year’s team, their lines still have much depth.  The defensive core is still there, and Tim Thomas is still in goal; thus, there shouldn’t be many issues behind their own blue line.  Boston is a team that knows how to win, and can count on production from numerous areas; thus, I would be surprised if they didn’t win at least a series or two.  This Bruins team has what it takes to repeat, but will now have a target on it’s back throughout the season.

Tomorrow’s FanSided season preview will come from the Buffalo Sabres, who look to improve on their three playoff wins from a year ago.

-Drew

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