We haven’t even put our shorts and bathing suits in storage and yet the NHL is underway. The early start this year is due to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver when the NHL shuts down from February 14th through March 2nd.
Over the summer the Bruins did their best to purge the image of the seventh game overtime loss to the Hurricanes in the second round of the playoffs.
So what is in store for 2009-2010?
Well, great expectations and nothing less.
Last season the Bruins won 53 games, tops in the Eastern Conference. In
June Claude Julien won the Adams Trophy as the league’s best coach, Tim
Thomas took the Vezina as the NHL’s top goalie and Zdeno Chara the
Norris as the league’s top defenseman. And, they are all back, carrying
the burden of validating such honors. Bruins fans have been given a
little sip of winning and they are back at the trough for more.
the playoffs is now expected – going deeper into the playoffs is a must
for this franchise if they want to climb to the same fan appreciation
level as the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. Sports Illustrated has the
Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Blackhawks – they haven’t
been to the finals since 1990 and they haven’t won the Cup since 1972.
Bill Parcells used to chant that "fear and pressure are great
motivators," and it’s true at any level of sport. How will the Bruins
react to such pressure?
The expectations of an entire region are extra large.