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Boston Bruins anticipated lineups for the 2023-24 season

SEP 1, 2023   |   BY HUNTER BOWMAN
Rarely do you see a team bidding adieu to both of its top centers due to retirement in a single summer.

But that's not all, the team also waved goodbye to two key top-six wingers and a top-four caliber defenseman, among others, in the past couple of months.

Despite these significant losses, the Bruins aren't short on talent across the board. This franchise has a track record of weathering such player departures rather admirably over the past decade.

Credit goes to the Bruins for consistently finding a way to navigate these challenges. Yet, the upcoming task for head coach Jim Montgomery and general manager Don Sweeney looms large.


While the Eastern Conference remains within their reach given their roster's potential, the true test lies in assembling the right line combinations and defensive pairings to extract maximum output from their skillset.

Subheading 1: Anticipating the Lineup

Forwards
LW—C—RW
1. Jake DeBrusk—Pavel ZachaDavid Pastrnak

2. Brad MarchandCharlie CoyleFabian Lysell

3. James van Riemsdyk—Morgan GeekieTrent Frederic

4. Milan LucicPatrick BrownJakub Lauko

The inclusion of Fabian Lysell in the forward mix injects excitement. As the Bruins' top forward prospect with undeniable top-six potential, Lysell could make an early debut with a strong training camp showing.

Given the offensive firepower lost during the off-season (farewell Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Taylor Hall, Tyler Bertuzzi, and more), Lysell's promotion could provide a much-needed infusion of goal-scoring, playmaking, and speed.

The Zacha-Pastrnak duo presents a particularly intriguing dynamic. Riding high after a career-best 61-goal season, Pastrnak's chemistry with Zacha will be a key factor in driving 5-on-5 offense this coming season.

Subheading 2: Defensive Outlook

Defensemen

1. Matt Grzelcyk—Charlie McAvoy

2. Hampus LindholmBrandon Carlo

3. Derek ForbortKevin Shattenkirk

In the realm of defense, the blueprint is clear with a minor adjustment in the right side of the third pairing—Kevin Shattenkirk likely stepping in for Connor Clifton.

The Grzelcyk-McAvoy pairing stands as one of the league's finest. Their on-ice synchrony was exemplified by leading all pairings with 600 or more 5-on-5 minutes played last season in goals-for percentage (70.59).

A mere 15 goals were conceded while they were on the ice—indicating their defensive prowess.

The promising Lindholm-Carlo pairing accounted for a commendable 51.87 percent of shot attempts, 54.02 percent of shots on net, 55.65 percent of scoring chances, and 54.02 percent of goals scored during 5-on-5 play last season.

Goaltending Strength

Starter: Linus Ullmark

Backup: Jeremy Swayman

The foundation of the Bruins' strength, particularly in the regular season, is undoubtedly their goaltending.

The formidable tandem from the previous season—Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman—remains intact. Ullmark's Vezina Trophy-winning season saw him leading the league in wins, save percentage, and GAA.

As for Swayman, he's not only an exceptional backup but arguably one of the league's top 10 netminders in his own right.

Expecting some moderation in Ullmark's regular season brilliance is only natural, but even a slight decrease would still render him a formidable presence. Meanwhile, Swayman possesses the potential to challenge Ullmark for the top spot with consistent performance.

The management will aim to distribute the workload equally to ensure freshness for the playoffs, mirroring their successful goalie management strategies from previous years.

As the Bruins navigate an era with altered goal-scoring dynamics due to off-season departures, their defensive backbone and goaltending prowess hold the keys to success for the 2023-24 season.

With the roster's current makeup, outclassing opponents in defensive battles is poised to be the team's modus operandi.

Source: Nbcsportsboston
DO YOU BELIEVE THE BOSTON BRUINS WILL THRIVE IN THE 2023-24 NHL SEASON DESPITE THE OFF-SEASON CHANGES?
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