The 2016-17 season was a mixed bag for the Boston Bruins.
After missing the playoffs for two straight seasons, the Bruins battled their way back in. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron were dominant while David Pastrnak broke through in a big way. Young defensemen such as Brandon Carlo helped the B’s transition to a more attacking approach, while Charlie McAvoy made an immediate splash during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It wasn’t all good, of course.
This last season cost Claude Julien his job, so 2017-18 will mark the first full season for Bruce Cassidy.
Tuukka Rask endured some struggles, while Zdeno Chara continued to show his age. The Ottawa Senators ended up dismissing the Bruins in six games during a first-round series.
With an aging core and a GM who might be on the hot seat, the Bruins stand as a team expected to battle for a lower playoff spot. It won’t be easy, and it can go either way, as the Bruins could either get more bounces this time around or slide badly if the more extreme scenarios come into play.
The B’s haven’t experienced too many big gains or losses during the off-season. Seeing the likes of Colin Miller leave (in his case via the expansion draft) isn’t ideal, but it also doesn’t dramatically change the complexion of this team.
Boston’s hopes rest on some coin flips going its way next season, so this should be a great way to kick off PHT’s Team of the Day series.