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2013-14 NHL Team Preview: Boston Bruins Predictions – Odds

Bet On NHL Hockey: Bruins

The Boston Bruins, one of the most successful franchises over the past few seasons are ready to embark on yet another successful NHL campaign and the expectations, as always in Boston are sky high.

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Odds to Win Stanley Cup: 10/1
Odds to Win Eastern Conference: 5/1
Odds to Win Atlantic Division: 11/5

This team won the Cup three seasons ago and they were the Eastern Conference rep. in the final last year as well – Boston is built for winning and should do so again this year.

Change was a common theme for this club during the offseason. Out are Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton Andrew Ference, Rich Peverley and Jaromir Jagr and in are Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla.

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Their forward group is still among the league’s best, the young defense has a real chance to shine alongside Zdeno Chara and the Bruins still have the benefit of Tuukka Rask between the pipes.

The forward group on paper looks to be one of the best units in the game again despite losing some key cogs. Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla expect to fill the right wing spots on each of the top-two lines, joining either the center/left wing duo of David Krejci and Milan Lucic or Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Greg Campbell will be back after injury to fill the third center position and Chris Kelly provides the Bruins with one of the better fourth line centers in the game. [ad-4437448]

The only issue is the players after that – depth had been a staple for this team in the past and unless some of the younger players step up the Bruins may have a difficult time producing any offense outside of their top 2 lines. That said there should be plenty of offense from this team this upcoming season. How much does Iginla have left in the tank? Will Loui Eriksson be a fit on the Bruins forward unit? All questions that will soon be answered.

Defensively Boston still has Zdeno Chara to quarterback a unit full of young and exciting talent. Johnny Boychuk is a terrific #2 D-man, Dennis Seidenberg and Dougie Hamilton are an excellent #2 pair, youngsters Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski have a real chance to shine this year and Adam McQuaid provides superb depth for the Bruins on defense. The Bruins were the third best defensive club in the NHL last season – no reason to think differently about this squad in 2013-2014.

Tuukka Rask, who was re-signed to an eight-year, $56 million contract following his stellar 2013 season provides the Bruins the solid goaltending needed for this team to remain elite. He went 19-10-5 with a 2.00 GAA and five shutouts in 36 games last year and his GAA dropped to 1.88 in 22 playoff outings.

Betting Prediction: There has been a ton of turnover in Boston ahead of the upcoming season. It remains to be seen if they affect this team during their Cup run. Barring some unforeseen injuries Boston should be near the top again this year. But with so much change and because of a lack of quality depth, the Bruins will be hard pressed to get back to the final this year. An Atlantic Division crown is certainly theirs to lose but and Eastern Conference Championship may be difficult to duplicate with teams like the Penguins and Red Wings poised for a playoff bounce back year.

Boston is a nice team as per usual but they are not quite the team they have been in the past. I like them to win the Atlantic and venture into the third round of the playoffs before bowing out.

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