For so long, Boston Bruins fans could hang their hat on the stability of their group. Every season, there were so many familiar faces and franchise stalwarts returning.
But this season, for the first time in probably 15 years, it felt like the Bruins had started ushering in a new era. Holdovers like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand still, obviously, are part of the core, but there were plenty of new faces making their debuts Saturday night at TD Garden.
And the tidy, professional 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars is just the beginning.
“With the group that we have, we’ve bonded so quick already and really come together quickly,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand said after the victory. “I think we’re all really excited to see what we’re going to do this year, how it’s going to play out. And I think tonight was a great example, especially early, with how good of a team we’re going to be.
“We haven’t had a whole lot of time to be together, only a couple (preseason) games, but we were good tonight. We weren’t great all the way through, but considering it’s our first regular-season game I think we have to be happy.”
All the new players can make it tough to set expectations, but make no mistake: The Bruins are still a legitimate top team in the NHL. The David Krejci and Tuukka Rask losses from this offseason loom large, but the Bruins are chock full of depth, and Saturday’s showing offered plenty of reason to be excited.
It was a great game. I think it’s going to be a really fun year,” Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman succinctly put after the game.
Unfortunately, weird scheduling means there will be some down time before the Bruins hit the ice in game action again. They won’t play next until Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia against the Flyers.