Have no fear, True Believers. We have made it. The Bruins start the regular season on Saturday in Prague. The Bruins demolished both the Belfast Giants and Liberec in their last two preseason games in Europe. They are done with all the tune-ups and now it’s time to play games that count.
Their last game against Liberec demonstrated who needs to be strong for the Bruins all season long. Patrice Bergeron had a 2-goal, 5-point game against the White Tigers. At 25 years old, Bergeron is the longest tenured Bruin and assistant captain. He has come back from a grade-3 concussion, and with Savard out to start the season, he will step up to be the number one center. If Bergeron can be strong for this team, hopefully the rest of the team will follow his lead.
Boston needs more than Bergeron to make it a competitive year. What went wrong last season? The Bruins couldn’t finish out games, couldn’t score goals, couldn’t prevent goals, and weren’t really big and bad. Their second preseason game against the Florida Panthers brought me back to last season. Let the profanities fly. Nothing good can come from thinking about last year. Not being able to finish games like the Panthers game? Not good. Ten-game losing streak? Horrible. Winning only 18 games at the TD Garden? Embarrassing. Converting on 16.6 percent of powerplays? Yuck.
I’m not saying that everything was bad about last season but there was definitely more bad than good. They did manage to get to the playoffs and they did beat the higher-seeded Sabres but then they did lose to the lower-ranked Flyers in a series they should have one and a game they had in the bag. So what does all this mean? Nothing, absolutely nothing except for the fact that I do not want to have any more flashbacks to last season. The 2010-2011 NHL season starts on Saturday, and let us hope that the Bruins can finish games, have a10-game winning streak, win at least 23 home games, and convert 83.4 percent of powerplays.
Now make sure you all remember that the game on Saturday is on at noon and thank goodness it is on NESN. Can you imagine the Bruins opening the season in Prague and not hearing Jack Edwards talking about snowballs, rivers, Gretzky’s office, and forks? Didn’t think so. It just wouldn’t be the same. Let’s hope Boston can take two in Prague and return to the States with a perfect 2-0 record. They need to start off the season right to set the tone for the rest of the season. Gear up True Believers, it’s time to go!
Pierce Arrow Blogger