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CONNOR MCDAVID
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Offseason Summary 2022-23 Outlook Boston Bruins
Photo credit: USA Today

OFFSEASON SUMMARY & 2022-23 OUTLOOK FOR THE BOSTON BRUINS

JUL 31, 2022  (17H51)      JON
We are in the dog days of summer, and there is little to report in the way of news, trades, & signings. So now that 98% of the pieces have fallen into place for the upcoming campaign, we can look at each club's additions & subtractions and assess what can be expected of them. Most teams are competing for the Stanley Cup, others are at one point or another of a rebuild, retool, or a straight up tank job. With 32 teams to get to, we're going to start with the Atlantic Division. Next up, the Boston Bruins.

This offseason, the Bruins subtracted more than they added. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy was replaced by Jim Montgomery, and they moved on from Erik Haula & Curtis Lazar. Subsequently, they added former sixth-overall pick F Pavel Zacha from New Jersey. Zacha & Boston are an interesting fit, as the Bruins need finishing & Zacha has a strong finishing touch. He could be a key factor for them this season. Still without contracts are captain Patrice Bergeron & C David Krejci, who is rumored to be making a return to the NHL. With only $4.75 million to sign those three, Boston might have to shed salary one way or another.

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Boston's defense was the NHL's best under Bruce Cassidy, so watching Montgomery's approach & outcome will be key. The Bruins will be without stud D Charlie McAvoy until Thanksgiving, possibly Christmas, which is a huge blow. Bergeron, once signed, is expected to miss the start of the season as well, as will Brad Marchand, so the perfection line--which accounts for much of Boston's 5v5 dominance--will be without two of its three stars to start the year.

Those absences could seriously drag the Bruins down, at least in the first half of the season. When you factor Cassidy & Assistant Coach Jay Pandolfo out of the equation too, 2022-23 could see the Bruins take a significant step back. Will their defense repeat as the NHL's best? Will special teams remain dominant under a new coaching staff? Valid questions.

That said, Boston still has a very strong group. There really is no 'weak spot' on this Bruins team. Goaltending might seem inexperienced, but I would take Swayman & Ullmark over ~half the tandems in the NHL. Their forward depth is as good as anyone's--when healthy, their D-corps is tops in the league, all in front of a solid goaltending tandem. Injuries are really the only thing working against this team.

The Boston Bruins 2022-23 campaign hinges on their depth players stepping up in the face of injury to McAvoy & Bergeron, Brad Marchand returning from his injury on time, and a strong second half of the season. Head Coach Jim Montgomery won't have an easy opening season behind the Bruins bench. Ultimately, I think the Bruins make the playoffs, but I would not be shocked at all if they fall short.
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