The Boston Bruins don’t have forever to reach their desired destination, but time still is on their side.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski on Thursday set what he believes are “realistic expectations” for the Bruins in the 2020-21 NHL season. These expectations include a place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and a potential challenge for the NHL’s ultimate prize, as long as Boston decides to “stay the course, but tinker” as Wyshynski recommends.
“The Bruins are racing against the clock to win a Stanley Cup with this group,” Wyshynski wrote. “The good news is that (General manager Don) Sweeney and the veteran players have conspired to give the Bruins the kind of salary-cap room few teams as successful as they are have under the flat cap. Again, this team was a regular-season juggernaut, and the only team to cross the 100-point threshold before the pause. The “Perfection Line” remains dominant, as David Pastrnak had a 48-goal season that was just shy of a Hart Trophy nomination. (Bruce) Cassidy has matured into one of the NHL’s best coaches.
“Realistically, this is a playoff team again with designs on the Stanley Cup. Whether the Bruins can surge ahead and win another one is dependent on the goaltending, how the (Torey) Krug matter is resolved and some tweaks to the team’s depth. But we’re confident this isn’t going to be a team that overreacts to how its postseason bubble popped.”
After the Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the Bruins from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Sweeney admitted he’s “looking to make some changes” to the team. Whether that amounts to tinkering or major alterations to the roster remains to be seen, but NHL insider Elliotte Friedman believes the Bruins will be “really interesting” in free agency.
So does that mean another Presidents Trophy-caliber season is to come from the Bruins? And perhaps a longer run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Such hopes aren’t foolishly optimistic, judging by Wyshynski’s assessment.
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images