5 Reasons the Boston Bruins Will Win the Stanley Cup
Boston Bruins: 5 Reasons They Will Win the Stanley Cup
The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 just two short years ago. A lot has changed in that time, most notably the departure of Vezina-winning goaltender Tim Thomas. After last year's disappointing first-round loss to the seventh-seeded Washington Capitals, Thomas decided to walk away from the Bruins, leaving Tuukka Rask as the primary goalie.
This year, with added pressure, Rask has elevated his game to a whole new level. He tied for the lead in the NHL with five shutouts and was third with a save percentage of .929. It’s now time for him to translate that regular season success into the postseason, something Thomas excelled at.
In addition to Rask, the Bruins are loaded with talented, playoff tested players who have already raised the Cup. There’s a certain level of toughness required to battle through four grueling rounds of NHL playoff hockey, and a majority of their team has done so. Claude Julien is on the bench and will provide steady leadership during the difficult moments.
The main competition coming out of the Eastern Conference will be the Pittsburgh Penguins, led by their explosive offense. Sidney Crosby is back from injury and is playing at a high level. However, their major weakness is in net with Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun. Neither inspire a lot of confidence, and as any hockey fan knows, you need a hot goalie to win it all.
So, here are five reasons why the Bruins will win this year's Stanley Cup.
B.L. is a writer for Rant Sports who you can follow on Twitter @coachlip
Unlike many NHL teams, the Bruins don’t rely on one or two guys to score. In fact, no one on the team scored 20 goals this season (Brad Marchand led the team with 18). The B’s can expect contributions from Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron, all guys who know what it takes to win in the playoffs.
Tuukka Rask is one of the best goalies in the league, but he continues to hear that he can’t win the big game. This year's playoffs will give him every opportunity to change people’s minds.
Not many NHL teams have a coach with as much playoff experience on the bench as Claude Julien. In sports-crazed Boston, he was heavily criticized for last year's early exit, so you know he wants to atone for that.
Although getting a little long in the tooth, Zdeno Chara is still a force on the blue line. His commanding size and presence in front of the net make it difficult for goal scorers to get any easy looks.
A majority of this team won the Cup just two years ago. They’ve seen the tumultuous ups and downs of playoff hockey and know how to deal with those pressures. There might be more talented teams out there, but very few, if any, have the big game experience that this Bruins team has collectively.