To say the Boston Bruins 2013 season was a bit roller coaster is a gross understatement. The Bruins had games postponed due to weather and terrorist attacks on their great city during the course of the regular season. They were just moments away from being knocked out of the 1st round by the Maple Leafs before Toronto choked so bad even Cubs fans felt bad for them! They went on to roll through the Rangers and the Penguins before providing us with a great six game series versus the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins looked like they had Game 6 all wrapped and were coming back to Chicago for a winner take all showdown. Then the greatest 17 seconds of hockey history occurred and their season was over.
The Bruins had a very busy summer too, including pulling off one of the biggest trades of the offseason by sending Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button to the Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow. Boston finally got Jarome Iginla into a B's sweater, as well, after missing out on him at the trade deadline.
I spoke to Chicago's favorite blogger over at Stanley Cup Of Chowder, Sarah Connors, and got her thoughts on this upcoming season.
First and foremost, how do you guys feel about the Tyler Seguin trade and how his tenure in Boston ended?
Eh, I think they'll be ok moving forward. Clearly the organization felt that it was a better idea to give him up than to have him stick around -- at least, I can only assume that they felt his behavior/negatives were enough to outweigh the possibility of having a 30-goal scorer. Either way, in Chiarelli we trust, so I think things will sort themselves out. Best of luck to you all dealing with him when he scores in bunches in Dallas next year.
You guys finally got Jerome Iginla, a few months later than originally thought. Is this a good thing?
I'm pretty indifferent at this point -- I think I used up all my Iginla-related energy when he did-then-didn't get traded to the Bruins at the deadline. But I think he'll slot in just fine with Krejci and Lucic. He's a proven talent, and while losing Horton in that spot sucks, I'm fairly optimistic that that line won't miss a beat when the season starts.
We have seen some long term goalie contacts blow up in general manager's faces in the past. Are you concerned that Tuuka Rask's new deal could be one of those?
Short answer: not particularly. His contract length is only slightly longer than other comparable goalies; the cap hit is similar to, say, Pekka Rinne or Henrik Lundqvist. Even Carey Price is right around there on length/cap hit. I think that's going to be the price point for goalies going forward, and I'd rather have him locked down than have to worry about our franchise's goaltending. On top of that, it'll likely look a lot more reasonable once the salary cap goes back up.
The Blackhawks were able to expose Zdeno Chara's lack of mobility during the Stanley Cup Final. Are you worried that Chara's best days are behind him or does getting healthy over the summer get him back to his Norris Trophy level we are used to seeing?
No, I'm not really worried about that - yet. Give me two more years and ask me again, and maybe I'll change my answer. When he and Patrice Bergeron were on the ice together, they only allowed one goal at even strength all season. So no, I'm not worried about Chara yet.
The Bruins young defensemen got their props, and rightfully so, for the way they played during the postseason. Out of Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski who do you expect the most out this season?
Which one of your new divisional foes are most excited about starting a rivalry with?
I'm not. It's Florida, they're hardly a threat. And I already hate Detroit, but I'm sure they'll be the ones most Boston fans flip the switch on this year. There's too much respect there right now between Boston and the Red Wings. Fuck that. Hate everyone.
I will forever hate the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 1992 Stanley Cup Final. Do Bruins fans now have a hatred for the Blackhawks after last year or are grudges not a thing in Mass?
Carrying my answer from 6 over to here: I have hated the Blackhawks for a few years now, but everyone in Boston seemed to sort of just roll over and take it when we lost to you guys, and no one seems to care too much. And to that I say: bullshit. We SHOULD hate you guys. But no one seems to. And that annoys the ever-loving crap out of me.
Thanks again to Sarah, SCoC's ambassador of love, for helping us with our preview. We will get to see the Bruins back at the United Center on January 19th. The Hawks return to the site of their latest Stanley Cup triumph on March 27th.