In the days of old, it was commonplace for an NHL team to win consecutive Stanley Cup Championships.
The last time that any team won championships consecutively, was 15 years ago. The Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998.
Before Detroit accomplished the now seemingly elusive back-to-back championships, it was being done with rapid succession.
You could almost bet the farm that if your team won that particular season, it was a sure fire bet that they'd do it again next season. Possibly, even the season after that.
With the salary caps that have been in place, it is almost next to impossible to grasp that elite status a Stanley Cup Championship brings year after year.
Until now ...
While most teams sign that explosive player for one season to win it all (just to release them the next because of financial struggles), the Boston Bruins will do it again without signing a high-profile player.
And here are the reasons why:
Corvo In, Kaberle Out
Well, you know how that worked out. Kaberle scored one goal, not even on the power play.
In a rugged style that Boston likes to play, Kaberle had nine hits. Needless to say, Kaberle wasn't going to stay long.
Joe Corvo had 11 goals with five coming on the power play for Carolina. Corvo also had 55 hits and 119 blocks. Joe Corvo will fit in nicely with the Boston organization.
With Corvo in and Kaberle out, the first step to claiming back-to-back championships was set into motion.
Zdeno Chara & Dennis Seidenberg
What is that term everybody uses to describe a pair of really good defensemen? Oh yeah, shut down.
Chara and Seidenberg are easily the NHL's best shutdown defensemen.Seidenberg was a plus-12, and Chara was a plus-16 during the playoffs and throughout the Stanley Cup Finals. Chara and Seidenberg finished the regular season a plus-33 and a plus-3, respectively.
They took the highest scoring offensive line in the NHL and completely shut them down. That kind of competitiveness is what it takes to win a championship.
With this type of defensive play, where it saw both combine for 314 hits on the season, epitomizes a Boston Bruin.
Keeping this duo intact just keeps the back-to-back championship cogs turning.
Lucic, Horton, Krejci
Milan Lucic has soft hands and fast skates. He knows how to turn on the afterburners and shake off a defense. He also knows how to find the back of the net. Lucic scored 62 points on 30 goals and 32 assists.
David Krejci is somewhat of a magic playmaker. No matter where he is on the ice, he always seems to find that open man. Another Bruin with 62 points on 13 goals and 49 assists. His 49 assists is a testament to his play making capabilities.
Nathan Horton can liven up his line mates and finish when it's needed most. Horton had three game-winning goals in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, with two coming in sudden death overtime. Look for Horton to score more of those on the edge of your seat goals in the 2011-12 season.
This line may not be the highest scoring line in the NHL, but they are a lock for the best chemistry between line mates. They just make it work and look so easy doing it.
Bergeron, Marchand, Seguin
Patrice Bergeron has scored 50 or more points the past two seasons. With a Stanley Cup to his name already, I can see him powering up and hitting that 70-point plateau in the '11-'12 season.
With an up-and-coming star like Tyler Seguin, things can only get better. Seguin, another rookie to accomplish a feat that hadn't been done since the late 80s.
Tim Thomas is easily the best goalie in the NHL today. At the age of 37, to have won two Vezina trophies, a Conn Smythe and a Stanley Cup, is astounding.
Thomas set a single-season record with a .938 save percentage. He also set records with most saves in a playoff run with 798 and most saves in a Stanley Cup Final with 238 saves.
If Thomas can be as productive or better as he was in the 2010-11 NHL season, then back-to-back championships is very realistic.
Back-to-Back Champonships? I Think So!
The reason why there hasn't been any back-to-back championships in the last 15 years is simple. It is because of the salary cap.
The Bruins did not have to dump any contracts this offseason due to financial issues. They got rid of Kaberle but improved when they brought in Corvo. Ryder is gone but can be replaced with Seguin.
With no significant changes, which other teams have not been able to avoid, the Boston Bruins will be on a mission to win it all again in the 2011-2012 NHL season.
With virtually the same team, but better, I don't know who will stop them. I think they will be bringing the Stanley Cup back to beantown.