The 2019-20 season for the Boston Bruins was perhaps more disjointed than any other NHL team. At the pause, they were the only club to hit the 100-point threshold, and looked as likely as any team to be hoisting the Stanley Cup.
But that same level of dominance didn't carry over into the Toronto bubble, as they were ousted in the conference semifinals by the eventual Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. This offseason, they said goodbye to franchise icon Zdeno Chara and power-play quarterback Torey Krug, leaving massive holes in their blue-line group.
What will we get for the 2020-21 campaign? Here's everything you need to know about the Bruins prior to opening night.
The big question: Has the championship window closed on this veteran group?
When the Bruins were eliminated by the Lightning in the 2020 playoffs, there was something wistful -- albeit realistic -- about the way the players spoke, realizing an aging core and tight salary cap may have caught up to a team that has been to the Stanley Cup Final three times since 2011.
"It just kind of hit me after the game that the core group, a few of us, we have one or two, three years left [on our contracts]," David Krejci said in September. "With the pandemic going on, you never know what's going to happen."
There are some young standouts like David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy, but the B's will be without Pastrnak for about the first month of the season as he finishes his recovery from offseason hip surgery.