Right wing reformation wasted little time nudging the aftermath of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals to the side in the Boston Bruins headlines this past July. Through a combination of one trade and two free-agency moves, Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin gave way to Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla in that position.
Roughly three months later, the Bruins are raring to start percolating regular news again. Their 2013-14 regular season begins this Thursday with a visit from the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of their new divisional cohabitants in the realigned, eight-team NHL Atlantic.
Can the fresh faces also lend fresh legs and fresh air to a team that was shagged out and shattered as runners-up in late June? Will such key returnees as Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask have enough in them to lead the team in their respective positions again?
Can young blueliners Matt Bartkowsi, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton build on their respective foundations from last year and round out a stable sextet on defense? Will they, along with the lower-tier forwards, pick up their share of the offensive production to supplement a dependable top-six portion of the strike force?
Those are all critical storylines for Bruins buffs to watch for in 2013-14. Here is a closer look at how those sidebars might play out most noticeably as Boston seeks 2013 redemption and a 2011 throwback.