Boston Bruins 2020 NHL Season Preview: Odds and Predictions

Boston Bruins 101

Founded: 1924

Home Arena: TD Garden, Boston, MA., 18,624 capacity

Championships: Stanley Cups: 6, President’s Trophies: 2, Conference titles: 5, Division titles: 25

Owner: Delaware North Companies (Jeremy and Charlie Jacobs)

General Manager: Don Sweeney

Head Coach: Bruce Cassidy

Team Captain: Zdeno Chara

Offense

The Boston Bruins finished their 2019 season with 107 points, ending the year only one seed below the dominant Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern conference. Boston had the third-most powerplay goals as a team with 65 but weren’t without their struggles as their powerplay success rate sat at only 25.9 percent – the third-worst in the league. In fact, by the numbers, Boston finishing the season so strongly was a little bit of a head scratcher. They were outside the top-ten in goals scored, were 19th in even-strength goals scored, 14th in shorthanded goals, and were ninth-overall in shots but 12th in shooting percentage. But, like many years in the past, Boston found their success with gritty play from two-way players such as Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, and the ever-solid goaltending of Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins head into the 2020 season looking much of the same. Captain Zdeno Chara was inked to a new one-year deal. They also signed forwards Brett Ritchie from Dallas and Par Lindholm formerly of Winnipeg. That being said, many contenders in their Atlantic division made vast improvements to their teams in the offseason – even Tampa Bay. The Bruins remained rather stagnant. They have a solid on-ice product but the rest of the pack seems to be running ahead. Another run to the finals seems unlikely.

Defense

Speaking of that gritty, two-way and defense heavy play, the Boston Bruins finished 2019 allowing the fourth-least goals against and the second-least even-strength goals against. They also allowed the sixth-fewest shots against. The only real struggle on the defensive end for the Boston Bruins was special teams. The team’s penalty kill in 2019 left much to be desired. The Bruins were only ranked 16th on the penalty kill (under 80 percent) and allowed the 12th-most powerplay goals against. Another jarring statistic was that the Boston Bruins allowed the most shorthanded goals against in the entire league last season with 15.

One notable obstacle for the Bruins, other than making improvements on the penalty kill, is the fact that they still have not reached a new deal with Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy is a player to watch at only 21-years-old, and will most likely remain on the top defensive pairing with Zdeno Chara should the two sides be able to reach a new deal. Losing McAvoy and adding a new defenseman to the mix will really hinder any positive progress that the defensive core was able to establish last season.

Goaltending

There’s not much to say about Tuukka Rask that you don’t already know. He is as elite as they come. Rask finished last season with a 2.48 goals against average and a save percentage of .912 and four shutouts. He went into beast mode in the playoffs when he posted a save percentage of .934 and a 2.02 goals against average with two more shutouts. Had the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, Rask was all but a lock to be named the Conn Smythe winner. And lest we forget that playing a supporting role to Rask is Jaroslav Halak. Last season, Halak went 22-11 with a save percentage of .922, a goals against average of 2.34, and five shutouts. Simply put, the Bruins head into the 2020 season with two starting goaltenders which allows each goalie to stay fresh and perform at their best levels.

Head Office

Since being named head coach of the Boston Bruins, Bruce Cassidy has gone 117-52-22. The 2020 NHL season is the last on his current contract and it is expected that the team will begin negotiating and reach a new deal before the start of the season. Over Cassidy’s three years as the bench boss, the Bruins have made the playoffs all three years and have the best record in those three years behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning. Should an extension be reached before the team hits the ice, it should give the players more confidence and a sense of security.

Projected Stars

Should a new deal be reached with restricted free agent Charlie McAvoy, watch out! But without knowing for sure if he’ll hit the ice for the team’s season opener, we’re going with Sean Kuraly. Playing much of 2019 on the fourth line, Kuraly still found a way to put up 21 points in 71 games. He also played a huge role for the Bruins in the playoffs, scoring four goals and adding six more assists. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Kuraly move up to centre the third line next season with Brett Ritchie on his wing.

Stanley Cup odds for 2020

The Boston Bruins are second to only the Stanley Cup favorites Tampa Bay Lightning when it comes to the odds of winning it all in 2020. The Bruins Stanley Cup odds sit at +1300. Their O/U for regular season points total sits at 103.5. They are a -500 favourite to make the postseason and a +365 to miss it.

Team Total Points in the Competition – Regular Season

SportsbookOver 103.5Under 103.5Link
888Sport NJ-112-112

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Will the Boston Bruins make the NHL playoffs?

SportsbookYESNOLink
888Sport NJ-500+365

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Stanley Cup Winner – Boston Bruins Odds

SportsbookChampionship WinnerLink
888Sport NJ+1300
BetStars NJ+1000

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