The Bruins enter a new era without Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, but at least one NHL writer wasn’t ready to write off Boston.
Brad Marchand on Wednesday was named the 27th captain in franchise history, and he will help lead Boston after its historic regular season and after its first-round exit to the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
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ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski on Thursday gave his “bold predictions” for every team, and his take for the Bruins was they would make the postseason.
“It’s a bit surreal that this counts as a bold prediction,” Wyshynski wrote. “Outside of a two-year hiatus when coach Claude Julien was past his expiration date, the Bruins have had a 16-year run of consistent playoff appearances and success. But the constant in that run was Patrice Bergeron, and the captain hung up his skates in the offseason, prompting many to flee the Bruins’ bandwagon like Brad Marchand on a sinking ship.
“While it’s true their forward group is the biggest doughnut this side of a Dunkin old-fashioned thanks to the departures of Bergeron and David Krejci, they still have Marchand, David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk on the wings. But the foundation of this team is in the back end: Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm devouring minutes in front of arguably the best goaltending battery in the NHL with Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.
“I have full faith that Jim Montgomery will find the right lane for this team to journey back to the postseason. And pride is a hell of a motivator: not only proving the doubters wrong post-Bergeron but also soothing their bruised egos after last postseason’s calamitous first-round upset by Florida.”
That endorsement should excite Bruins fans who might have had worries about the team heading into their first preseason matchup against the New York Rangers at TD Garden.
“I have full faith that Jim Montgomery will find the right lane for this team to journey back to the postseason.”ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski on Boston
The market agrees with Wyshynski as the Bruins are -280 to make the playoffs at FanDuel Sportsbook, and they are +210 to miss the postseason.
If you look at other futures, Boston has the second-shortest odds to win the Atlantic Division at +390 behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. And Boston has the fifth-shortest odds to win the Eastern Conference at +850 behind the Carolina Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The betting market views the Bruins as the fifth-best team in the Eastern Conference, but as Wyshynski pointed out, public perception might not align with that sentiment.
But the Bruins will be focused on what they can control as they aim to win the franchise’s seventh Stanley Cup.