Boston Bruins 2008 Offseason Report
Thanks to the Carolina Hurricanes last minute catastrophe at the end of the 2007-2008 season, the Bruins were able to sneak into the playoffs. Boston even gave Montreal a run for their money in the first round by taking them to seven games but eventually losing. The playoff loss proved to the Bruins organization on where they stand and left management to pull some strings during the offseason for improvement.
Boston finished the season with a 41-29-12 record which was 11 more wins than even Bruins fans thought. So now, the team heads into the 08-09 season expecting to over achieve again.
Marc Savard was the obvious leader on the offensive side of the ice with his 78 points in only 74 games with very little help. The only help he really had was Norris Trophy nominee Zdeno Chara but he is a defenseman. Savard’s right hand man, Patrice Bergeron received a season ending concussion in the tenth game of the season which may have been the nail in the coffin. This was a devastating loss to a team that was already in an goal scoring struggle.
Not to say that the other forwards were useless but the numbers don’t lie. Marco Sturm was second on the team with only 56 points and was one of two players on the team scoring over 20 goals with his 27 (Chuck Kobasew had 22). Young gun Phil Kessel had an off year while newly released Glen Murray under produced with only 30 points, proving yet again that a true secondary scorer is needed.
With failed attempts on signing Marian Hossa, Brian Rolston and Ryan Malone, I want to apologize to all Bruins fans. I am very sorry if you think that the signing of Micheal Ryder will give you the 30 goal scorer you need.
Chara was nothing but spectacular on the blue line but if you take him out of the equation there are no other point getters. They do have great shut down defensemen but that’s it. Here we have a team that’s second best d-man is Dennis Wideman…..yah, I really haven’t heard of him either. Andrew Ference may have been the biggest disappointment finishing the season with a dreadful -14 ratio.
Boston has confirmed that Tim Thomas is the #1 goalie with his great regular season play. As all fans know, goalies need to be playoff performers and that is something Thomas has yet to prove. With Manny Fernandez as the #2, the Bruins missed out on grabbing Cristobal Huet, Jose Theodore, or even Olaf Kolzig before others did. Though none have Cups, they have taken teams on their backs deep into the playoffs.
Considering that the management had a lot of work to do this offseason, none was really done and the results will show.
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Notable top players staying for the Boston Bruins:
Marc Savard, Marco Sturm, Patrice Bergeron, Chuck Kobasew, Phil Kessel, Glen Murray, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, Dennis Wideman, Tim Thomas
Boston Bruins - Players added via free agency & trades:
Boston Bruins - Players lost to free agency & trades:
Alex Auld, Glen Murray (bought out)
What Boston has:
Young talent. Bergeron, Kobasew, Lucic, Kessel and David Krejci are all great accents for Savard.
Chara the Monsta. He has the power to control the pace of a game and he does. Chara has a good mix of offense, defense, size and his physical play is second to none.
The ugliest third jersey in the league. How does a mustard colored jersey with a picture of a bear screaming like he got caught in a bear trap an attractive jersey?
What Boston needs:
A healthy Bergeron. He is vital to this team’s success and his presence was missed in last season’s playoffs.
Offensive defenseman. Chara can not do it all.
A playoff goalie. It’s nice to make the playoffs but it would be nice to have a confident goalie lead the way in the post season.
Expectations for the Bruins next year:
I want to say that they will make the playoffs but Boston is a definite border line team. They will finish somewhere between seventh and tenth in the eastern conference for sure with it coming down to other teams. Just like they needed the Hurricanes to drop the ball in the last week of the season in 08’, the same luck will be needed in 09’.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Director of Content
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