Bruins

Ryan: What lessons can Bruins learn from Dallas Stars and other 2020 Cup contenders?

(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tyler Seguin, Anton Khudobin and the Dallas Stars are going to the Stanley Cup Final.

Yep, just par for the course — given how this year has gone.

While Dallas was far from the favorite when it came to sizing up Cup contenders before 24 clubs ventured up to Toronto and Edmonton, give full credit to the Stars for carving their way through the talented Western Conference — with the club setting themselves up for a matchup against either the Lightning or Islanders thanks to a stout defense, some goaltending heroics from Khudobinsome savvy veterans up front and a slew of young contributors sprinkled throughout the lineup.

Entering this revamped playoff slate, it was easy to project clubs like the Bruins, Lightning, Golden Knights and Blues as favorites to punch their ticket to the Cup Final — at least on paper, due to their bevy of veteran experience and evident talent. And yet, the Bolts are the last team standing out of that mix, and stand just one win away from bouncing the Islanders out of the bubble and setting up a matchup with the Stars.

While the Bruins — knocked out of the postseason by Tampa Bay in five games — lick their wounds and prepare themselves for an uncertain offseason, let's take a look at some of the hallmarks of the last clubs standing in the bubble, and what lessons Boston might apply when it comes to retooling its roster for 2020 and beyond.