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The Landlubber’s Guide to: The Boston Bruins

The Deep face off against the Black and Gold. Let’s get read up.

Boston Bruins v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Hey you! You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype and also whirlwind of Kraken Things Happening. You obviously want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.

Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.

Let’s move onto! The Boston Bruins!

Are they any good?

Yes...ish.

Almost an unbroken ten year streak of being over .500 since winning the Stanley Cup in 2011 has resulted in a team that can generally be expected to show up in the playoffs with alarming regularity, including two finals appearances, and right now they seem pretty comfortable in the East’s final wildcard spot.

That said...10 years is a long, long time in hockey, and the Bruins are currently fighting a lot of growing pains and cap concerns that’ve been cropping up with time. Famously galaxy braining the first round of the 2015 Draft has had some terrible consequences for the team in the present: their center depth has been deeply gauged by the loss of Czech center David Krejci answering momma’s call to come home, and outside of a select few group of players, there’s very little actual scoring to be had. Combine that with the first time in years that Tuukka Rask, their erstwhile #1 goaltender, has been relegated to depth option in favor of the future, it looks like, for a lot of the East, the Bruins are finally going to stop being a tough team to play.

But then again, they’ve been saying that for the last three years and...well...it hasn’t happened yet.

Who should I look out for?:

Patrice Bergeron (#37, C) - Patrice Bergeron is known on the ice and off the ice for just being... pretty good at everything. He’s one of the premiere two-way forwards in the league, able to play both offense and defense with equal measure of quality, and possesses a solid shot. He’s the beating heart of what makes the Bruins good, and even at 36 years old he’s still probably a lock to become a Selke Trophy finalist; the award for best defensive forward in the league. If he gets one more, he’s officially going to be the leading record holder.

Oh, and he’s probably getting his number retired at some point after he’s done. If for no other reason than this:

Brad Marchand (#63, LW) - Brad Marchand is a lot of things; very skilled at hockey, an excellent forechecker and possession player, and a shorthanded nightmare. But the thing he defines himself by, before anything else, is being a gigantic prick. He is the NHL’s leading pest; the top heel. It’s not necessarily that he’s always doing something dirty (though he does dabble from time to time), he’s always doing something to get under the opponent’s skin. Whether goading them into fights or...licking them. This belies the fact that he’s still a tough player to deal with, so it would behoove the Kraken to keep him locked down if they can. Also his favorite song is Barbie Girl by Aqua. Don’t ask.

David Pastrnak (#88, RW) - The smiling Czech, though his life recently hasn’t given him much to smile about lately due to a family tragedy. A son of a single mother, Pastrnak or “Pasta” as he’s known is a gifted forward; most well known for a thundering shot in spite of having one of the worst tape jobs on planet earth, and for being the most recent Bruin to win the Rocket Richard in a good long time. He’s won the Czech player of the year award for the past five years, and since he’s started to heat up; he’s almost assuredly a lock for it this year as well.

Taylor Hall (#71, LW) - A team normally with the kind of problems at center that Boston has would probably be out of the playoffs unless they had some kind of dynamite playmaker who could pull the weight of their centers. Luckily (for them, I guess.), they just so happen to have one of the better playmakers in the league in Taylor Hall, who came there fresh off of a bad season with the Sabres and turned it into becoming the driving force of their second line.

Charlie McAvoy (#73, D) - If you’re wondering why Ron Francis would’ve ever taken Jeremy Lauzon given his struggles this year, here’s your answer. The #1 defenseman for the Bruins is a bright young fella with a baby face that can be both a strong defender and a dangerous shot. Given their propensity to let defenders go roam the attacking zone, this is a player the Kraken must fluster early.

Any Seattle Ties?

  • Jeremy Lauzon mostly got to where he is riding their #1 defenseman’s coattails, and has been a beloved* part of the Kraken defense since.
  • Marcus Johansson was previously a Sabre, but before his time as a Sabre he was a Bruin for about a few months after the trade deadline. He was good! but his time was short.
  • Karson Kuhlman was a recent pickup for Seattle on the waiver wire. He’s a fast skater, but his puck skills are a little lacking at the NHL level. A good depth option, however!
  • Not a specific tie, but Chris Dreidger used coming to cold-as-hell Boston as a chance to tie the knot! Congrats to the happy couple!

* = Citation needed.

Odds & Ends

  • The Bruins are the reason the phrase “It was 4 to 1” is the easiest way to make a Toronto Maple Leafs fan twitch involuntarily, thanks to their epic Game 7 collapse against them.
  • They’ve been led in the front office by two veterans of the 1980-90’s B’s; ex-power forward Cam Neely as President, and ex-defenseman Don Sweeney as GM. Neely is most well known for his 1993 campaign where he scored 50 goals in 44 games...as well as dusting up anybody stupid enough to try and fight him.
  • While it’s unlikely he’s going to see action tonight thanks to having come off hip surgery and a recent setback, Tuukka Rask is a player of contrasts: everybody except a select group of Boston fans generally thinks he’s pretty good when he’s healthy, but the Boston fans who don’t really don’t like him. My best guess as to why is that they initially made him one of the more paid players in the league coming off of fan favorite American goalie Tim Thomas deciding to run off and not come back, and the team really didn’t have much choice. I guess there’s just no pleasing everybody, even after two finals appearances.
  • Less highlight heavy, but in the Loge section of TD Garden, there used to be a place where you could get such diseased things to eat as Dorito encrusted fried chicken. It is mercifully closed.

The Game Facts:

Arena: TD Garden in Boston, MA

Game time: 4pm PT

Where to watch: Root Sports-Northwest for local viewers, ESPN+ for out-of-market fans

Listen: 950 KJR or Sirius XM Channel 219