With the 2019-20 regular season finally upon us, here are 10 questions facing the Bruins in what should be another eventful year for Bruce Cassidy and Co.
1. Are the Bruins in line for a Stanley Cup “hangover?”
It’s been 179 days since the 15 franchises that didn’t punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs suited up and played meaningful hockey.
While clubs that underwent major makeovers this summer like the Rangers and Devils are eagerly anticipating a chance to rewrite the script in 2019-20, the Bruins find themselves striving to achieve the same goal — namely, winning just one more game in June.
But Bruce Cassidy’s club was not afforded the same extended window to rest and recover this summer due to its run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. When Boston drops the puck Thursday evening in Dallas, it will be just 113 days since Boston’s season ended in heartbreaking fashion at TD Garden against the Blues.
A Stanley Cup “hangover” usually applies to the club that ends up hoisting the top prize in hockey, given that most of the following months are penciled in with debaucherous celebration. But Boston is very much behind the eight ball as well given their short offseason — without any trophy to assuage some of those disadvantages.
Still, even with the short layoff, the Bruins don’t appear too worried about hitting the ground running in 2019-20.
“We actually did a study that teams in the past four or five years have actually done very well in the regular season, so it’s certainly part of what we looked at,” Don Sweeney said. “When it comes down to it on a little more of a day to day, you know your team is going to hit a wall at some point in time based on the mileage from the previous season.
“We have to find those pockets of the schedule, maybe utilize the break effectively which didn’t happen in the past and allow them to recharge. We’ve had some open dialogue about it, but history says the team generally gets off and a healthy part of that gets off to a good start. Mentally and physically, these guys are ready to go.”
In fact, over the last 10 years, teams that have lost the Stanley Cup Final have averaged 106.1 points during the following campaign. Given the amount of talent on this B’s roster — a third-straight season of 100+ points seems to be well within grasp.
2. Will Bruins continue to ease the workloads for Bergeron and Co.?