You can go through the 2008-2009 roster for the Boston Bruins and find a dozen names who you've never heard of.
Lucic. Krejci. Wheeler. Bitz. Just to name a few.
Then you continue through the rest of the roster, and you find names that they mention nonstop on Versus. Chara. Savard. Recchi. Thomas. Fernandez. Kessel.
You can go on and on through the savvy veterans that the Bruins had on their '08-'09 roster.
The Bruins' mixture of youth and veteran players pushed them to a number one seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, before they were ultimately knocked off by the Carolina Hurricanes in a series which they should've won.
But the bitter taste that the Bruins' playoff run left in for their fans effectively soured the otherwise exuberant taste of the Bruins' regular season.
Think about it: the Bruins 2007-2008 season had them barely sneaking into the playoffs, before being kicked out in the first round by their hated rivals the Montreal Canadiens. In '08-'09, the Bruins swept the Canadiens out of the first round, giving Bruins fans the climax of their season.
And, really, they wouldn't have swept if it wasn't for Mark Recchi, one of the two veterans the Bruins acquired at the trade deadline (with the other being Steve Montador). Anyway, Recchi was excellent, with 10 goals in 18 regular season games and with six assists, giving him 16 points.
The Bruins need to re-sign Recchi. Recchi's an unrestricted free agent contemplating retirement. The Bruins need to convince him not to retire, then re-sign him to a one-year deal. They will continue to have that veteran leadership that Recchi consistently provided.
The Bruins had the best pair of goalies in the NHL with Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez. Thomas had a 2.10 goals against average and a .933 save percentage, while Fernandez had 2.59 GAAwith a .910 save percentage.
Despite Thomas' age (he'll be 36 this off-season) he should still be his same stellar self that he was in '08-'09. Fernandez will be 35 this off-season, so I wouldn't reject drafting another goal keeper. But until these guys stop being excellent, don't change a thing on the NHL roster.
Zdeno Chara, Dennis Wideman, Shane Hnidy, and Andrew Ference are some of the better defensemen in the league. But I feel that the Bruins just need one more piece for this defense to be really, unstoppably good.
Those are the only things the Bruins need to do in order to be the best team in the Eastern Conference again.
Stanley Cup 2010, here come the Big Bad Bruins.
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