The Bruins Eastern Conference predictions before the season were TSN 15th place, Hockeybuzz 15th place, ESPN 15th place, Bruins analyst Mike Millbury 13th place, and Hockey Journal 15th place. All but Millbury had the Bruins last before the season started, and all were miserably wrong. I would like to take some credit, because I had them 7th before the season started. The Bruins ended up coming in 8th place, a playoff spot which was the first time that has happened since the lockout in 2004. The Bruins did this losing their best all around player in Patrice Bergeron, Manny Fernandez who was slated to be the number one goaltender, and Andrew Alberts one of their bright young defenseman.
The Bruins powered their way to the playoffs with hard work, determination, toughness, and excellent goaltending. Tim Thomas is my Bruins MVP for this season. Thomas stole the show night in and night out earning himself his first ever All-Star appearance. 19 year old Milan Lucic who was supposed to spend this season in juniors earned a slot on the team, and he won the 7th player award for performing above and beyond expectations. Lucic was a guy who brought his physical play night in and night out. Lucic started the season going back and forth between the 3rd and 4th lines but by seasons end he found himself on the 1st line. Zdeno Chara returned to his top five NHL defenseman status with an excellent season. Captain Zdeno brought a physical presence that was absent last season. Chara also led the Bruins in +/- and was third on the team in points. Thomas, Lucic, and Chara are my three stars for the season. Other honorable mentions are Marc Savard, Dennis Wideman, Marco Sturm, Chuck Kobasew, Aaron Ward, and Glenn Metropolit in that order. The Bruins look to be a contender next year with the right additions.
Expect the Bruins to add a goal scorer probably Radim Vrbata or Marian Hossa. Also there is a good chance the Bruins go after a puck moving defensemen like Micheal Liles. Other players that the Bruins could be interested in are Brian Rolston, Trevor Letowiki, and Fabian Burnnstrom. The Bruins will probably try to move Manny Fernandez and Glenn Murray to free up some cap space for possible free agent signings. Also expect to see Tukka Rask and Matt Lashoff for a good period of time next season. Rask currently the starter for the Bruins AHL affiliate the Providence Bruins, and is now the number one goalie prospect in the world with Montreal goaltender Carey Price now up in the NHL. Lashoff is the Bruins best puck moving defensive prospect and could be an excellent addition to this Bruins team especially on the power play. Finally Patrice Bergeron should be back next season from the beginning of the season, and had the Bruins beat the Canadiens in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals he would have been ready for the semi finals.