Still thinking of all the things that went wrong in the very forgettable yet truly unforgettable Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final? You’re not alone.
But as members of the Boston Bruins clear out their lockers, leaving too are the remaining traces of a bittersweet 2019 postseason.
With that closure comes a turn of focus towards the future. The team couldn’t get their hands on hockey’s Holy Grail this season, but what do their chances moving forward look like?
Well, if you ask one oddsmaker, they’ll tell you the club’s chances of winning it all are pretty good in 2020. According to this very early forecast, the Bruins have 9/1 odds at taking it home next summer - second only to the Tampa Bay Lightning who show up at 8/1. While premature, it is somewhat encouraging, right?
History, on the other hand, doesn’t really side with Boston. Since 1968, only two clubs have ever lost the Stanley Cup while going on to win it the following season: the 1983-1984 Edmonton Oilers and the 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins. This speaks to just how grueling the playoffs can be and the lasting effects that come with it.
The depth of the roster will take a minor hit entering the 2019-2020 season. With defensive standouts Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo needing big paydays, the organization’s salary cap situation will endure some tightening. Bringing back valuable trade deadline addition Marcus Johansson will be a challenge and could leave a void on the team’s third line.
Lastly, one has to worry about age starting to set in soon. It’s not like players such as Patrice Bergeron, 33, David Krejci, 33, and Brad Marchand, 31, are way past their prime, but they’re no longer budding talents. If signs of aging occur, which would not be completely shocking after a draining postseason, there’s no question that could hinder the Bruins next year on their quest to the Cup.
All things considered, the road back to the Final will not be easy for Boston. History, the salary cap, and fatigue will all be working against the club in 2019-2020.
However, navigating through the NHL’s regular season and playoffs is hardly ever a walk in the park. It will be up to the Bruins to demonstrate just how strong their resolve is when the league opens back up this October.