By: Jacob Abenante | Follow me on Twitter @Jacobabenante
The holiday season is in full swing, Christmas is quickly approaching and thankfully, so is hockey season. The NHL board of governors has approved the plans to start the season on January 13th. This news has bought some much-needed positivity to the hockey community. It now seems our wishes have been granted after today’s announcement, and that moves my thought process back over to the Bruins. The question at hand is, what are some things Bruins fans should be wishing for going into the 2020-21 NHL season?
On Schedule Injury Recoveries
First and foremost, as Bruins fans, our number one wish heading into the season has to be for Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak to return to play in a timely fashion. Both star players had surgeries right after their time in a bubble and are expected to make full recoveries. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has stated both players are on track and maybe even ahead of schedule. Marchand is expected to be ready for the start of the season, while Pastrnak is expected to return more towards the middle of February. If there are any setbacks in either player’s recoveries, this would be a significant problem for this Bruins team and could quickly derail the season. Therefore, their health has to be wish and priority number one for Bruins fans as we patiently await puck drop, for, without them, the perfection line would be far from perfect.
Jack Studnicka Makes the Team
Wish number two for me, and I’d expect many other Bruins fans is for young gun Jack Studnicka to become an NHL regular. After a spectacular AHL rookie season resulting in a stat line of 23-26-49 in 60 games per Hockeydb.com, Studnicka was named an AHL Allstar. Accolades aside, Studnicka passes the eye test for me on many different levels; and seems to be fully ready to jump to the NHL. If Studnicka can make the opening night lineup, I think the coaching staff will be hard-pressed to take him out of it. Studnicka’s insertion could help bridge that gap between the aging core and the new one developing. Studnicka being an impact player is integral to the Bruins organization’s future as their top prospect, and I feel this future may be now.
Jake Debrusk Silences Doubters
Jake Debrusk’s time in Boston has been up and down at times, and his streaky play has been a common topic of discussion for the Boston media. Wish number three for the upcoming season is for this narrative to be a thing of the past. Coming into the season already riding the high of signing a new two-year $7.35 million contract, I feel Debrusk is ready to take off offensively. Debrusk is a confidence-driven player, and this new contract should have his confidence levels plentiful, resulting in his best season to date. Debrusk has even said he looks to find more consistency in his game this year and is driven to do so. If Debrusk can fulfill this wish, he will quickly fix the lack of secondary scoring problem that has plagued this roster.
Jakub Zboril Proves He Belongs
My final wish for the 2020-21 season is for Jakub Zboril to prove he belongs at the NHL level. This wish will help the organization from many different points of view. At its face value, the Bruins will be a much better team if another 2015 first-round pick can be an impact player, filling some of the voids in our current defense core. Zboril’s breakthrough would also significantly take away the burden the 2015 draft class has caused on general manager Don Sweeneys shoulders by ensuring at least two of his first three picks were hits. It is time for one of the young defensemen in Providence to step up, and my hope is for Zboril to be that guy. Zboril’s two-way defenseman playstyle should fit in effectively with the Bruin’s current structure as a fast transitioning team, looking for more offense from the backend.