2013 leaders: goals (Brad Marchand, 18), assists (David Krejci, 23), points (Marchand, 36), plus-minus (Patrice Bergeron, plus-24), penalty minutes (Milan Lucic, 75). No. 1 goaltender: Tuukka Rask (19-10-5, 2.00 GAA, .929 save percentage, five shutouts). 2013 rankings: goals (13th, 2.65 per game), goals against (third, 2.21), power play (26th, 14.8 percent), penalty killing (fourth, 87.1 percent).
... Bruins' strengths: They have a good mix of skill, size and toughness and can be difficult to play against. At age 36, 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara remains a dominant anchor on a blue line with a solid top four that includes Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton
The Bruins are strong up the middle with Patrice Bergeron -- one of the better two-way players in the league -- as well as David Krejci -- their leading playoff scorer -- Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell. Loui Eriksson was a consistent 25-to-30 goal scorer and 70-point producer in Dallas. Jarome Iginla will provide scoring, abrasiveness and leadership. Small but irritating Brad Marchand led the team in goals and points.
... Bruins' weaknesses: Scoring was an issue at times last season, in large part because their power play was among the worst in the league. It would help if Lucic regained his 30-goal, 60-point form of 2010-11. The No. 5 and 6 defense spots are suspect. Backup goalie Chad Johnson has appeared in only 10 games over four seasons.
The Hawks play a similar style to the Wings, but in the end I think it was the Hawks speed that gave the B's the most trouble. I don't think the Wings can produce that speediness.
Nyquist is fast. Helm is fast. Is Weiss fast? I'd call Tatar faster than guys like Bert and Cleary. At least he seemed to be. Hard to discern directly when Bert was always injured.
Smith is fast, Kindl ain't too slow.
We're not Hawks fast, but we're getting faster. Especially down the pipeline.
Also. You're reaching when you list a backup goalie as a weakness. They pretty much never sniff the playoffs and Rask is young enough to play most of the season. The fact that they included that as a weakness may be telling of the strength of the Bruins team.
They added Eriksson, Iginla and Smith. One of Soderberg or Spooner figure to graduate to a regular spot in the lineup.
They subtracted Horton, Seguin, Jagr and Peverley.
A bit of a wash in the top 6, but I think their third line isn't nearly as dangerous offensively. They still Maintain a solid 4th line.
No additions, but will rely more heavily on Hamilton, Krug and Bartkowski
Subtracted reliable depth defenseman and leader Ferrence.
Still a soid defense, but may have some issues in their own zone due to inexperience... much like we saw with Smith and Kindl.
Overall, they have two dynamic scoring lines. If they can get the PP unit going this season, watch out! Great goaltending, smart two way forwards, and Julien's system should keep their GA low again, even if they don't have a great defense.
Head to head standpoint; now that we are division rivals I see them playing us very physical and looking to break the will of Wings players throughout the season. Much like St. Louis teams of the past used to do. Iginla especially grows 4 inches and becomes the toughest player in the league whenever he has played Detroit.
Lucic - Krejci - Iginla
Eriksson - Bergeron - Marchand
Paille - Kelly - Soderberg/Spooner
Smith - Campbell - Thornton
Chara - Hamilton
Seidenberg - Boychuk
McQuaid - Bartkowski/Krug