By: Gayle Troiani | Follow me on Twitter @LadyBruinsFan
Monday for this Bruins fan was better than attending the Stadium Tour at Fenway Park the previous Friday night. As much as I love Mötley Crüe, I love that Black and Gold that much more, so when the social media account for the Bruins posted the first GIF of Patrice Bergeron winking with no other content, I was jumping out of my seat.
They couldn’t possibly tease us without a follow-up. So I refreshed my Twitter feed every second, waiting for proof that the rest of Bruins nation and I finally had something to cheer about. And then, roughly 37 minutes later, the Bruins announced that Bergeron was back for the upcoming season.
Doing a happy dance, I immediately felt better about the roster coming into camp this year. The captain was back to lead the team for the 2022-23 campaign. The bonafide best two-way forward in the NHL would defend his fifth Selke win and, hopefully, earn his sixth.
While Bruins Nation was dissecting the terms of the deal, the Bruins social media team dropped yet another tease, David Krejci in a Bruins uniform, in the Bruins’ lockerroom, smiling. Were we getting a second reason to celebrate? Collectively, Bruins fans across Twitter were speculating the deal would be announced shortly, and again, within the hour it was, Krejci and Bergeron signed a one-year contract.
As a fan, these two signings alone give me hope for the upcoming season. But, if I was honest, I was not optimistic about what the front office was giving new Head Coach Jim Montgomery to work with roster-wise. Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk will not be ready for training camp following their offseason surgeries, and speculation of Bergeron not returning left a huge hole not only at center but with the captaincy.
Line combinations can have many different looks:
Taylor Hall-Krejci-David Pastrnak
Pavel Zacha-Charlie Coyle-Craig Smith
That’s a pretty formidable top nine if the chemistry is right. Even strength match-ups will be harder on opposing teams because the top two lines should produce a hefty amount of scoring chances and goals. In addition, Montgomery now has more options to shake up lines during a game if something isn’t clicking without robbing Peter to pay Paul. This team has a legitimate shot at not only making the playoffs but coming out on top of the East.
Unfortunately, some fans think bringing back Bergeron and Krejci means the team should reunite the remaining 2011 Stanely Cup-winning team. Even Andrew Ference joked he’d like to return given the opportunity.
I loved the 2011 team, they were something special, but that doesn’t mean I want them all to return. I am all set with having Ference, Milan Lucic, or Tim Thomas return. Lucic can stay in Calgary, and Thomas and Ference can remain retired. They were part of an amazing run, but they are not what the team needs.
The core of this team is and should be built around Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, McAvoy, Krejci, Jeremy Swayman, and Hampus Lindholm. The only thing left for Don Sweeney to do this year is get Pastrnak extended. If fans have their way, it will be 8-years for $8.8 million, and it will be worth it!