By Erik Caron
The Bruins were supposed to be the team of destiny last season but were ultimately unable to get the job done as they were ousted by their rivals, the Montreal Canadiens in game seven in what was a very premature exit in the playoffs. There was plenty of blame to go around whether it was pesky Bruins forward Brad Marchand who hit enough posts to win the series if one of those chances just decided to go in. One could also point fingers at Krejci who wasn’t his usual dominate self in the playoffs, failing to score a goal and line mate Lucic who suffered as a result of it. The fourth line took much of the blame too as they failed to produce anywhere close to the same results that helped the team win a cup in the 2011 Cup finals.
The fourth line may not even be comprised of the same cast coming in to this season and forwards Lucic and Marchand will face the same pressure coming in as they have become accustom to the last couple seasons. As for Krejci, he will have added weight on his shoulders to redeem himself in the playoffs while cashing in during his contract year.
None of these players are under as much pressure as Swedish forward Loui Eriksson though.
Eriksson was considered the centerpiece of the return package that the Bruins received after sending away what was considered a future franchise player in forward Tyler Seguin. Eriksson struggled in his first season as Bruin while trying to learn the new system. The forward also dealt with a couple of concussions that caused him to miss time and ultimately lose his spot on the second line. Eriksson’s production suffered as a result only scoring 10 goals and 37 points in 61 games and wasn’t ever truly able to find his form.
Can Eriksson return to a scoring threat in his second year in Boston?r
Eriksson will have more pressure than any Bruins player this season to produce. After the Olympic break last season Eriksson finally started to find his form again but there was still more to be desired from him. This season should be different with the departure of forward Jarome Iginla, Eriksson will slot in along with Krejci and Lucic on the first line. It will be just what the doctor ordered for Eriksson who showed flashes of brilliance while recording four assists in a game when playing with them. That small sample size was what the Bruins were looking for when they traded for him. The return to the top six will be good for the Swedish forward. Heath will also be a factor for the forward as that was a problem in his first season in Boston. If he can stay healthy Eriksson should be able to form a dangerous duo this season with Krejci and could reach 30 goals again in his career.