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Embracing the Underdog

This year's Bruins will feature a lot of new faces in a new system after being on the outside looking in on last year's playoffs.

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Two more sleeps, Bruins fans, just two more!

  • For any number of reasons, the Bruins missed the playoffs last year. As he approaches record-setting tenure in Boston, Claude Julien has considered his options and re-strategized. [TheBostonGlobe]
  • So the new look Bruins are all about the old "if you can't beat 'em, join em," now? [ProvidenceJournal]
  • Every dog has his day, and the Bruins have gone from the hunted to the hunters. Complacency will not serve them well. [TheBostonGlobe]
  • Prepare for the Bruins to live and die as a team by the quality of their defense. Bonus: Why the Bruins will likely stick with Julien through the season. [WEEI]
  • The formerly very stable Bruins lineup will feature a number of new faces this season, and we finally get a good look at the ageless Brett Connolly . [BostonHerald]
  • Providence College has fed the Providence Bruins a number of players, Noel Acciari is just the most recent example. [AlongTheBoards]

Elsewhere around the rink:

  • The new 3-on-3 overtime format makes puck possession critical for a number of reasons, and allows puck-handling goalies to give their teams a leg up. [NewYorkTimes]
  • And yet the shootout is not gone. Take a look at exactly what we've learned about the skills competition over ten years. [CopperNBlue]
  • Marc Staal explains shot blocking, and why a shooter simply pounding pucks into defenders' pads is counterproductive. [TheScore]
  • In his final installment, Sean McIndoe identifies the Stanley Cup contenders. [Grantland]
  • If you can't say something nice... check here for one very kind thought about each NHL team. [Sportsnet]
  • #FreeRaffi? Are you kidding me? A landmark suspension is already a day late and dollar short for serial headshot artist Raffi Torres . [TorontoSun]
  • Fluto Shinzawa lists his NHL superlatives in several carefully crafted categories. [TheBostonGlobe]
  • The NHL is blown away by reports of increased cocaine abuse among players, although they have admittedly not been screening for it in drug tests... [TSN]
  • ...while a Maple Leafs senior executive has met with Toronto police about their players associating with cocaine users. [PensionPlanPuppets]
  • When they're not duking it out in a player lockout, the NHL and a "strong and unified" NHLPA are finding common ground and making strides in areas of common interest. [BrandonSun]
  • We NHL fans may not be the largest pro sports fan base, but with our social media and tech savvy, we lead in "Second Screen Consumption..." [SportsIllustrated]
  • ...and what finer examples are there than the Dallas Stars ' witty Jumbotron along with theirs and other teams' Twitter accounts? [SportsIllustrated]