In hockey, there’s a saying that the team with the hot goaltender usually takes his team to the Stanley Cup. So far this season all signs are pointing to a Bruins team to go deep in the playoffs. The question is can, Tuukka Rask leads the Bruins to a Stanley Cup. In this post, we’ll examine three attributes Rask and the Bruins have going for them. Is 2018 The Year Tuukka Rask Leads The Bruins to A Stanley Cup? Skilled players; Since the days of the Big Bad Bruins, the team has had a reputation of grinders. Basically, a team that dumps the puck in the opposite end and wins the battle along the boards and out fighting the other team. This was the formula that was very successful for the Bruins but produced no Stanley Cups, It’s been seven years since the Bruins won their last Cup. That roster consisted of players such as Tim Thomas, Nathan Horton, Dennis Seidenberg and thirty goal scorer Milan Lucic. This years group consist of skilled players such as Charlie Mc Avoy, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, and ex _Olympian Ryan Donato. Donato _the son of ex _Bruin Ted Donato. Donato had an impressive opening night scoring a goal and two assists despite a losing effort to Columbus . Good mixture of Youth and Veterans; After a long dry spell of not winning in the playoffs, the Bruins are playing like a team on a mission. Veteran goaltender Tuukka Rask is having an impressive season. With three shutouts to his credit, 2018 could be the year. Boston has solid veterans in David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand. Marchand has elevated his game to be one of the top five players in hockey despite dirty reputation. Coaching; Since taking over for the fired Claude Julien head coach Bruce Cassidy has transformed the team into one of the most exciting teams in hockey. Cassidy who spent eight years as head coach in Providence. One of the reasons for Cassidy’s success this year has been rotating his goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin. If Rask can stay fresh, then a trip to the Stanley Cup is possible.
With NHL training camps underway this week hockey fans can start to make their predictions. Last year the Penguins skated, to their second straight Stanley Cup .A seven game hard fought series over Nashville. The Predators were one , of the most surprising teams in the NHL last season. The start of training camp means every team gets a fresh new start. During the summer teams retooled and got ready for the upcoming season. Three teams to keep an eye on are Edmonton, Dallas, and Boston. Dallas and Edmonton were very active this past off season.For the Bruins they were fairly quiet. Boston was busy negotiating a long term deal for David Pastrnak. Still no deal has yet to be announced. Dallas was the busiest team this off season. The Stars added veteran goalie Ben Bishop. Bishop. Bishop was traded to LA at the trade deadline,but ended up signing with Dallas this summer. The Stars will have great depth at goaltending ,as Bishop and KariLehtonen will split the time. The biggest move was signing long time NHL coal Ken Hitchcock to a contract. Hitchcock’s experience will greatly help Dallas. With captain Jamie Benn,and Tyler Sguin the Stars should be much better than their 34-37 and 70 point record. Hitchcock has the experience to mold the Stars into a playoff team. Along with Bishop , Dallas acquired defenseman center Martin Hanzal,and forward Tyler Pitlick. Edmonton is another team to keep an eye on. The Oilers rewarded star center Connor Mc David to an eight year 100 million dollar deal. Mc David was was one of the leagues best players last year. The Oilers selected McDavid number one overall in 2015 Mc David and teammate Leon Draisaitl together make the Oilers a very scary team. General manager Peter Chairelli has got the Oilers back to respectability in just three years.If the Oilers can play solid defense in front of goalie Cam Talbot they will be a team to challenge the Penguins in the playoffs. Boston under first year head coach Bruce Cassidy is another team that will surprise a lot of fans. Currently the Bruins are in negotiations with star forward David Pastrnak. If the Bruins can sign Padtrnak theycould be one of the biggest stories in hockey. The Bruins have a strong goaltender in Tukka Rask. The Bruins also have one of the youngest teams in the league. After losing in the opening round last year to Ottawa gained valuable playoff experience. The Bruins are led by number one pick Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy joins a host of young talent such as Brandon Carlo, Jakub Zboril Austin Czarnik, Sean Kuraly, Rob O’Gara, Noel Accari , Frank Vatrano. If Cassidy can mold the veterans, with the young players the Bruins could be serious contenders in 2017/18.
Now that Bruce Cassidy has been named head coach of the Bruins, fans can only hope that they have the talent to get them to the finals. Cassidy replaces long time coach Claude Julian who was fired late last year. Many questions arise for this year’s Bruins team. First, does the young talent on the roster have the skill set to win at an NHL level? Is the defense deep enough to keep the Bruins in games Thirdly is the goal tending strong enough? Tuukka Rask started sixty- five games last year. Only thirty years old Rask, is still young enough to get the Bruins back in serious contention. The main strength of the Bruins is their offense. Ranked fifth overall in the NHL last year Boston didn’t make any big moves this past off season. Resigning forward David Pastrnak will certainly be a big to the team. Pastrnaks’ thirty four goals made him one of the top young players in the league. If Cassidy can mold the young players with the veterans then the Bruins should be right their come April. The Bruins have the twealth best farm system in the NHL Players like Charlie McAvoy,Brandon Carlo,Jakub Zboril, Tim Schaller and Noel Accari all made significant gains last year. They were good enough to keep the Bruins alive for five games in round one before losing to the Senators. Only time will tell for the Bruins. Cassidy was very succesful at Providence during an eight year span. In February the Bruins fired ten year coach Claude Julian. The knock on Julian was he lacked patience with his young players. Leadership is another strong quality that the Bruins have going for them. Veterans like Zedeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, David Krejci , Dave Backes, and Rask should be a big plus for the young players going forward. If Cassidy can rest Rask and utilize his backup goalies then the Bruins could surprise a lot of fans. Cassidy took the team over for only twenty seven games last year. But when he did take over the Bruins started playing together like the Bruins of 2010/11 the year they beat Vancouver to bring home a Stanley Cup.