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slides: 10 Things to Watch During the 2015-2016 Boston Bruins Season

Thursday, October 08, 2015

 

The 2015-2016 Boston Bruins season is starting Thursday night against the Winnipeg Jets. The puck drops at 7 PM at the TD Garden in Boston.

GoLocalWorcester has put together a list of things to keep an eye out for as the B's get deeper into the season. 

SEE SLIDES BELOW: 10 Things to Watch During the 2015-2016 Boston Bruins Season

The Bruins finished 41-27-14 last season - one spot out of the Eastern Conference finals.

The list below contains key players, big games, and much more to watch for this season.

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Things to Look for During the 2015-2016 Boston Bruins Season

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Zdeno Chara

On Monday, the Bruins placed Chara on Injured Reserve. Chara, the team's captain, was injured on September 24 - the date of which his IR stint is retroactive.

There's still a chance Chara plays opening night against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

However, this could be another sign of aging and slowing down by the Bruins' captain.

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Claude Julien

If the Bruins start losing a bunch early on in the season, Julien will absolutely be on the seat.

After missing the playoffs last season, and seemingly refusing to give lots of playing time to young players, new General Manger Don Sweeney may be looking to bring one of "his guys" in to take over the B's if things don't change this year.

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Tuukka Rask

In the NHL, if a team's goalie is hot, then that team can ride that goalie's momentum into and throughout the playoffs.

Rask has put together three great seasons and the Bruins' young squad will rely on him to help them win some games. 

The B's will go as Rask goes, and even a slight improvement over last year's numbers could result in a bunch more wins.

Last season, Rask gave up 156 goals - compared to just 115 during the 2013-2014 season.

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Malcolm Subban

Although he was an early roster cut, it's probably not time to panic over Malcolm Subban.

Playing in Providence will only help his development as a professional goalie.

And Subban is still only 21-years-old. 

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Don Sweeney

General Manager Don Sweeney may have his work cut out for him this season. If the Bruins aren't winning, here are some things he will need to address:

1. Whether or not Claude Julien should remain as head coach.

2. If trading Dougie Hamilton was a huge mistake.

3. If the roster needs a complete revamp of young talent by trading veteran pieces away.

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Loui Erikson

If Erikson can stay healthy, there's no reason he can't live up to high expectations after being traded for Tyler Seguin.

Following his return from two concussions last season, Erikson put up an impressive 37 points (10 goals, 27 assists) in 61 games. 

Erikson is projected to be on the second line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron - which could amount to the most offensively explosive line in the NHL.

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Nationally Televised Games

Here are the Boston Bruins Nationall Televised Games:

WED OCT 21, 2015 FLYERS vs BRUINS - 8:00 PM (NBC Sports)

FRI NOV 27, 2015 RANGERS vs BRUINS - 1:00 PM (NBC)

WED DEC 9, 2015 BRUINS vs CANADIENS - 7:30 PM (NBC Sports)

WED DEC 16, 2015 PENGUINS vs BRUINS - 8:00 PM (NBC Sports)

FRI JAN 1, 2016 CANADIENS vs BRUINS (GILLETTE STADIUM) - 1:00 PM (NBC)

WED JAN 13, 2016 BRUINS vs FLYERS - 8:00 PM (NBC Sports)

SUN FEB 14, 2016 BRUINS vs RED WINGS - 3:00 PM (NBC)

WED FEB 24, 2016 PENGUINS vs BRUINS - 7:30 PM (NBC Sports)

SUN FEB 28, 2016 LIGHTNING vs BRUINS 6:30 PM (NBC Sports)

WED MAR 23, 2016 BRUINS vs RANGERS - 8:00 PM (NBC Sports)

SUN APR 3, 2016 BRUINS vs BLACKHAWKS - 12:30 PM (NBC)

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Bruins vs Canadiens at Gillette Stadium

The Bruins will be hosting the Canadiens at Gillette Stadium during this year's NHL's Stadium Series.

As a pair of original six teams, and one of the strongest rivalries in major professional sports, this game should sell-out easily at Gillette.

This will be the second outdoor game for the Boston Bruins in six years. In 2010, they played in the NHL Winter Classic against the Flyers at Fenway Park.

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Zac Rinaldo

The B's traded a third-round pick for Rinaldo which may turn out to be a huge price to pay.

Rinaldo could be on the outside looking in for playing time - and may even get cut if he can't find a line to play well with. 

Always known as a tough guy (and a dirty player), the Bruins acquired Rinaldo in hopes to get that tough-guy mentality back into their roster.

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Ryan Spooner

Spooner had eight goals last year and 18 points in just 29 games. This season, he will be leading the third line with new wingers Brett Connolly and Jimmy Hayes.

Spooner received an extension in the offseason so it will be interesting to see if he's worth the investment. The Bruins sure seem to think so and that third line could devastate opposing teams.

Image: "Ryan Spooner - Boston Bruins" by Lisa Gansky from New York, NY, USA - IMG_3815.

 
 

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