2009 preview: Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins had a great regular season run last year, but was surprised in the playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Bruins should be the top team in the Northeast division, especially if they continue their domination of the Habs (they won’t). They’ll be more challenged by teams this season, but expect the Bruins to win the games needed to come first in the division.

Story of the season: Can the Bruins continue to expect everyone to perform at the same level as last year? Some players will expect to see a falloff in points, ice time, etc. But last year, everything worked out just right for the Bruins. Rookies performed great. On-ice chemistry was awesome. Zdeno Chara was a beast, and Tim Thomas had a career year. Can all that happen again?

Former Habs: Michael Ryder, Steve Begin, Mark Recchi

Blog to follow: Stanley Cup of Chowder

TV commercial break

Pool Picks: Patrice Bergeron. If he can stay healthy, he’ll get 60 points easily. Stay away from:Milan Lucic. The guy is a beast on the ice, but won’t be able to dominate to score goals every night, just when he’s playing against the Habs. Look for him to finish around 45 points.

Award nominees: Marc Savard for the Lady Byng

Expected Finish: First in the Northeast, second in the East

Cheerleader: A Bruins ice girl (the Habs ones are better, I think).

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