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2010/11 Boston Bruins Predictions – Odds – Season Preview

Boston Bruins 2010/2011 Season Preview

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The NHL season starts in roughly a month. That means it’s time to start prepping for the betting season. Let’s look at each team one by one in alphabetical order. Next Up: Boston Bruins.

BOSTON BRUINS

Stanley Cup odds: +1400

2010-11 NHL Predictions/Previews: Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins’ team identity changed significantly between 2008-09 and 2009-10 but they came within a game of the Eastern conference final both years. They fielded a powerhouse offense two seasons ago but posted the league’s lowest goal total last year. Thankfully for them, their stellar defense and goaltending remained intact. Now that the B’s worked to bolster their scoring this offseason, could they have the perfect storm for 2010-11?

Defense and goaltending were Boston’s constant over the last two seasons and, considering that their two pillars are back, that shouldn’t change this year. Even though it was strange to see Tim Thomas go from Vezina Trophy winner to backup in one season, the move wasn’t all that surprising; it was all about pedigree. Thomas was a technically sloppy but athletic guy who didn’t even find his groove until his 30s; he was a nice story but was ultimately just keeping the seat warm for the heir: Tuukka Rask.

Rask has all the makings of superstar goalie for years to come. He’s big, he’s poised and he’s technically crisp. With him between the pipes, Boston should once again have an easy time keeping pucks out. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Zdeno Chara will man the point for 30 minutes a night. He’s the team’s heart and soul. He plays against opponents’ top forwards and brings a booming shot to the power play. Chara is so effective that the rest of Boston’s blueline only has to be good and not great. If Dennis Seidenberg can repeat last year’s breakout performance, it’s gravy.

The key to Boston’s Stanley Cup hopes this year is, of course, offense. It was non-existent last year. The Bruins dealt top goal scorer Phil Kessel to Toronto and never recovered; no Bruin scored more than 22 goals . Not only did top center Marc Savard lack a reliable trigger man, he missed half the season with multiple injuries.

Expect a major offensive turnaround this year. First off, acquiring Nathan Horton was quite a coup. He toiled in obscurity with the Panthers but he’s just 25 and a major power forward with 40-goal potential. And then there’s Tyler Seguin. The Bruins snagged him second overall in the 2010 draft and think they have a future star center to build around.

The great thing for Seguin is that he won’t feel much pressure as a rookie. Boston is tremendously deep at center already with Savard, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci so Seguin will have plenty of time to develop.

On the wings, the Bruins have some underachievers but plenty of size with guys like Milan Lucic, Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder, all of whom are extremely tough to move in front of opposing teams’ nets.

The more I look up and down the Bruins’ roster, the more I like their chances to contend in 2010-11. They’re big, they’re physical and they should score a lot more this year. They should be quite competitive and make the playoffs, though their young forwards may need another year of development before they join the Eastern Conference’s elite.

Bruins 2010 Preseason Schedule

Wednesday, September 22 (Montreal, QC)
– Bruins at Montreal Canadiens, Bell Centre, 7:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, September 23 (Rochester, NY)
– Bruins vs. Florida Panthers, Blue Cross Arena, 7:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, September 25 (Boston, MA)
-Bruins vs. Florida Panthers, TD Garden, 7:00 p.m. ET

Tuesday, September 28 (Washington, DC)
-Bruins at Washington Capitals, Verizon Center, 7:00 p.m. ET

Wednesday, September 29 (Boston, MA)
-Bruins vs. Washington Capitals, TD Garden, 7:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, October 2 (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
-Bruins vs. Belfast Giants Select, Odyssey Arena, 7:00 p.m. local/ 2:00 p.m. ET

Tuesday, October 5 (Liberec, Czech Republic)
-Bruins vs. HC Liberec, Tipsport Arena, 7:00 p.m. local/ 1:00 p.m. ET

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