This year has been a whirlwind to say the least.
For the Boston Bruins, there have been great moments, and then there were things we wish never happened. Everyone is going to have different opinions on how each Bruin contributed to the team this season, and how the year ultimately played out.
However, in the spirit of the end of the year, let’s take a look back at a few of the good and the bad moments from the Bruins in 2020.
- You can’t deny that the Bruins were on a hot streak when the season came to a halt in March. During the home stretch of the regular season, they accumulated 20 wins with nine losses. They won the Presidents’ Trophy and finished the season with 100 points. That’s a huge accomplishment in any season, regardless of whether or not it ends with a Stanley Cup (although it was looking like the Bruins were going to be a serious contender for some hardware before COVID-19 took over).
- Patrice Bergeron’s line really shined during the season. Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak accounted for 238 regular-season points. Pastrnak posted career-best numbers in the shortened season, with 48 goals and 47 assists for 95 points. Marchand (who had 87 regular-season points) had a 13-game point streak to close out the season. Bergeron’s 56 points isn’t something to dismiss either from the center who remains one of the best two-way players in the league.
- After going without hockey for what felt like forever, the NHL’s “Return to Play” this summer was a welcome distraction. It wasn’t without some hiccups with new protocols and player availability, but overall, the league and the Bruins handled the bubble situation fairly well. In those respects, despite the disappointing outcome from the B’s, seeing some form of playoff hockey brought a sense of normalcy back.
Things we wished maybe ended or played out differently:
- March to August (really, March to right now). No need to explain.
- The 2020 trade deadline saw the Bruins acquire both Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie. While the moves seemed promising at the time, both had a hard time finding their footing in the handful of regular season games before the shutdown. Kase fared a bit better in the playoffs, while Ritchie’s lack of discipline hindered him. Overall, they didn’t make the difference in the postseason that the Bruins and their fans hoped for.
- Yes, Tuukka Rask’s exit from the bubble was for a family emergency, and you can’t fault him for that. However, it’s fair to ask: would it have made a difference if Rask was available in the Tampa Bay Lightning series? It’s hard to say. In his four 2019-20 postseason appearances, he had one win and three losses. It was a weird postseason for Rask as he definitely voiced his frustration with the bubble and games and then his exit came.
- The Bruins’ second round exit to the Tampa Bay Lightning was probably the biggest disappoint, simply because there was so much hope during the regular season. I think the biggest disappointment in the series was the Bruins’ lack of scoring. It didn’t help that Pastrnak was hurt, but the minimal scoring in the playoffs mirrored what we saw in terms of secondary scoring during the regular season.
- Yesterday, the news broke that Zdeno Chara would not re-sign with the Bruins, as the team looks to build upon its younger defensemen. While it makes sense, Chara has been such a key part of the Bruins’ landscape for the past 14 years that his leadership will be missed.
- It was also inevitable that Torey Krug wasn’t going to re-sign with the Bruins during the offseason. The Bruins do have youth on their side, but with Chara gone, Krug’s veteran presence and productivity would have been even more valuable.
What do you consider the best and worst moments for the Bruins’ this season? There were 366 days this year and a whole lot to talk about regarding the B’s.
Trades? Players? Coaching? “Return to Play”? Playoffs? Free Agency?
What are you most excited about for next season? For me, I’m hopeful for Kevan Miller to return and that Marchand and Pastrnak’s road to recovery from their surgeries doesn’t impact the beginning of the season more than expected.
Let us know your thoughts on the Bruins’ 2020!