Boston Bruins: 5 Reasons Why They Will Repeat
On June 15, 2011, the Boston Bruins won the sixth Stanley Cup in the storied franchise's history.
With the 2011-12 season upon us, the talk begins about whether the Bruins have what it takes to repeat as champions.
Here are five reasons why the Boston Bruins will repeat as the Stanley Cup Champions.
Tim Thomas was the best goaltender in the NHL throughout the regular season and postseason.
His .938 save percentage was .001 point higher than Dominik Hasek's previous save percentage record. Additionally, Thomas won both the Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophies.
Is it likely that Thomas will have another season like last? Probably not. But as of right now he is one of the best goaltenders in the league.
As long as Thomas is in net for the Boston Bruins, they have a serious chance at repeating as Stanley Cup Champions.
Tyler Seguin didn't immediately have an impact on the Boston Bruins as a 19-year-old, scoring only 11 goals in the regular season. But he came into his own in the playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In Games 1 and 2, Seguin racked up three goals, bursting onto the playoff scene and giving the Bruins a much needed spark.
A year later, a more experienced Seguin will look to have an even bigger impact on the Bruins.
He certainly has the potential to be a top scorer in the NHL, and if he can carry over his postseason performance to this season, he could be a terror for opposing defenses.
If Seguin is able to progress from his rookie season into his second, like the Bruins hope he will, he could be a big reason why the Bruins will repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.
Stanley Cup Champion Core Is Back
Aside from Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle, the core of the team that won the Stanley Cup Championship in June is back in black and gold for the 2011-12 season.
The Bruins will certainly miss Ryder, who scored eight goals in the postseason. But with new additions and young guns progressing the offense will be replaced. Meanwhile, Kaberle underachieved as a Bruin, probably the reason as to why he wasn't retained, and won't be missed nearly as much as Ryder.
With the core returning, Thomas, Bergeron, Krecji, Lucic, et al., the Bruins have as good a chance as anyone to win the Stanley Cup this season.
Cap Room to Make a Deal at Deadline
Last year, the Bruins made a splash at the tread deadline by acquiring Tomas Kaberle to help give them an edge in the playoffs. They have the cap room to make a move again, if need be, this season.
With about $2.5 million in cap space, the Bruins could be active at the trade deadline to acquire one final piece for the Stanley Cup push.
In the long NHL season, injuries occur and players don't live up to their potential so it is essential to have room to trade for a player if he is needed.
The fact that the Bruins have the ability to make a trade if they need to certainly helps their chances at repeating as Stanley Cup Champions.
Boston Likes to Make History
In the past decade, Boston's professional sports teams have shown the knack for making history in their respective league.
First, in 2004, the Boston Red Sox mounted an epic comeback against the New York Yankees after being down 3-0 in the ALCS. They went on to win the World Series.
Then, in 2007, the New England Patriots enjoyed a perfect regular season by going 16-0 and almost completed a 19-0 if not for a loss to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
So, why can't the Bruins become the next team to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions and the first since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998?
Sure, the odds aren't in their favor as there are some great teams in the NHL, but the Bruins have as good a chance as anybody at winning the Stanley Cup in 2012. Don't be surprised if they end up doing it.