As we welcome a new year, ESPN Boston writers have checked their crystal balls and are making some bold predictions. Here are three for the Bruins:
1. Bruins will win the Stanley Cup: Despite a flood of injuries, the Bruins are on pace for another deep run through the Stanley Cup playoffs. Backed by the solid play of goaltender Tuukka Rask, they will reach the finals for the third time in four seasons, earning a rematch with the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Only this spring, it will be the Bruins hoisting the Cup.
2. Rask will be a top Vezina Trophy candidate: It’s likely that Tuukka Rask will be named to the Finnish Olympic team in the coming days, so it could be a successful season both personally and from a team standpoint for Rask. He’ll play the most he’s ever played in his career, but by the time the summer arrives, he’ll look back and realize this season was a career year for him.
3. Chiarelli will add another veteran blueliner to the roster: Bruins fans already know that general manager Peter Chiarelli isn’t afraid to make a trade -- no matter how big or small -- as long as he believes it will help make the team better. With the recent news that veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn MCL/ACL in his right knee, it’s a safe bet that Chiarelli is trying to figure out a way to bolster Boston’s defensive core. The Bruins are built on defense and if they want to earn another trip to the Stanley Cup, then they'll have to add another veteran blueliner to the mix.