When Seidenberg went down this year I thought there was no shot at the Bruins winning a Cup this year, but I’m beginning to rethink that. It’s probably just a knee-jerk reaction to their 10 game winning streak, but it all seems plausible when I think about it. Seidenberg was absolutely vital to their win in 2011, but how many Stanley Cup teams have that much of a shut down first dman pairing? I mean it is possible to win the Cup while allowing a few goals from the other teams top forwards. Even without that shut down pairing, they still have Chara, who combined with anyone will be pretty hard to score against, not to mention with the Bergeron line on the ice. And Tuukka himself is pretty damn hard to score against.
The real reason I feel like they have a shot despite the Seidenberg injury though, is offense. Right now the top line is on fire, and generally speaking the bigger the games get, the bigger Krejci plays, Lucic as well, and Iggy can flat out finish. Bergeron, obviously is a big game player, and that line might not be peaking right now, but they’re not playing bad at all, they can produce, and even when it’s not showing up on the score sheet, they don’t allow many goals against.
The two key things to me though, are 1) the third line. Ever since Soderberg was moved to center and Loui picked up a little confidence in Sochi, they’ve been the best third line in hockey. You have dependability defensively, which is what you ultimately want from your third line, but they’re also scoring. Even when they’re not scoring they’re providing momentum that the other lines are feeding off. That’s what a third line is there for. And 2) the power play. The power play was a huge weakness in the cup run in 2011, and they still managed to win because they didn’t let up goals. Well, this year their power play is actually a strength, for the first time in a long time. If they’re scoring goals on the power play, than they can afford to let up a few more goals, in theory.
Basically, I think the Bruins can go all the way this year, because they’re still a solid defensive team, but they have more offense than they did before. They’re not as sound on D, but the production up front allows for a little wiggle room.