On Thursday the guys at Pro Hockey Talk put up a poll question for their readers; Has the Bruins Stanley Cup window closed? As of this writing the results are pictured below:
I can see why 56% of people think it is “Yes”. As the team is constructed today the answer is absolutely yes that the window is closed. With that being said, like closing your window on a cool New England Fall night only to wake up to an unexpected hot day, a smart trade or two could quickly throw that window right back open.
With the moves that GM Don Sweeney has made so far the forward group has much more balance and should score more goals than last season. Also, this new group of forwards have the skill set that would make them successful in the playoffs. Because one thing is for certain; the Bruins are going to score more dirty goals this year with the additions of Brett Connolly, Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes. Those are the types of goals you see scored in the postseason. With the expected improvement and growth of Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak they have the potential of being a really good team offensively. But keeping the puck out of their own net is the major question.
It is well documented that the Bruins need to add at least one top 4 defenseman. You can go back to 2010 when the Blackhawks won their first of three Stanley Cups and every team that has won the Cup since then has had 2 defensemen that really carry the load. In 2011 the Bruins had Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. The last two playoff runs (2013 and 2014) Chara has broken down. In 2014 Seidenberg was injured and missed the entire playoffs.
Chara and Seidenberg are not those 2011 Stanley Cup players anymore. The Bruins chances improve quicker if they could somehow replace Chara and Seidenberg with younger versions. It’s one of the ways the window will open back up for this core group of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, and Tuukka Rask. They have the forward depth, but they no longer have the two studs on defense.
The window could also open back up even if they do ride it out with Chara and Seidenberg. The Bruins now have a deep farm system and solid assets that will be feeding the Bruins in a couple of years. The core of the team are all young enough to still benefit from the deep farm system even next year and beyond.
But yes, as of now the Bruins window appears closed. With a couple of moves they could be right in the mix this year again and for many years to come. Don Sweeney has done a good job turning over the forward group, now he just needs to do it on the blueline. Until that happens, or they develop a few stud defensemen, the window is closed.