NHL Notebook: Bruins projected to hover near top of NHL in points, the new pricey perils of ‘bridge deals’ & more

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

While some have been quick to close the Bruins’ window when it comes to Stanley Cup contention going into the 2019-20 season and beyond, let's be frank — reports of Boston's demise have been greatly exaggerated. 

Even if Boston will be without a few regulars this season such as Noel Acciari and Marcus Johansson, the B's still possess one of the top veteran cores in the league, an effective tandem in net in Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak and a crop of younger skaters that are expected to take another big step in their respective development — headlined by David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Danton Heinen and more.

To be fair, most of the doom and gloom surrounding Boston's Cup chances going forward are more centered around the rest of the competition in the Atlantic Division and beyond, rather than the roster that the Bruins have put together.

And that's valid. One should expect the Lightning to not be swept in the first round this year, while the Capitals will also be looking for a rebound after getting knocked out of the first round by the Hurricanes. And don't forget about the Maple Leafs. And Penguins. And the Habs. And — alright, you get the point. The road to the Stanley Cup should be much, much harder for the Bruins in 2019-20.

But still, if we want to look at projected wins above replacement (WAR) for each NHL team's lineup and what it could mean in terms of standings next season, the Bruins have to be feeling pretty good as to where they stand in what should be another slugfest in the Eastern Conference.