(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By: Danielle DuBois | Follow Me on Twitter @DanielleDuBois

The Boston Bruins, 2022-23 season has officially ended after a heartbreaking overtime loss in game seven to the hands of the Florida Panthers. With the best regular season in NHL history, the loss comes as a major disappointment. The Bruins have a tough off-season this year. Not only are you following the best season, but you also have to resign multiple people in order to keep your incredible roster. The Bruins also have to figure out what went wrong so they can fix it for next year. 

Well, the defense was not what it was during the regular season. Often the Bruins allowed the Panthers to march into their zone and set up a scoring opportunity. While Linus Ullmark wasn’t the best, as he was nursing an injury, the defense made it difficult for Ullmark to succeed. As for our offense, I don’t have much to complain about. We were able to generate a good amount of scoring opportunities and saw some beautiful goals from the team. So what now? While nothing is certain, we can discuss some possibilities for the off-season. 

Let’s start with veteran center Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron is 37 years old and just finished his one-year contract with the Bruins. Going into this season, it was well known that there was a strong possibility that this would be the captain’s last year. With 27 goals and 31 assists this season, Bergeron still looked great. While he is getting older, he doesn’t play like it. He is still fast to the puck and is a key factor in the Bruins’ success. As for now, Bergeron is going to “give it some thought” and will come to a decision later on. 

While we’re on the topic of veteran players, let’s talk about David Krejci. Krejci is in a very similar situation to Bergeron. Like Bergeron, Krejci also just finished a one-year contract. While Krejci is the same age as Bergeron, he looks like a different version of himself. Krejci came out this year and surprised me with the amount of points he had.

Krejci finished the regular season with 16 goals and 40 assists. While his scoring ability was there, he did look slow towards the end of the regular season. He ultimately worked well with the Czech line and was a key asset to the Bruins team, but you can’t hide that he isn’t the same Krejci we used to have. Both Bergeron and Krejci will make some decisions in the off-season; however, I think it is more likely that Bergeron will return than Krejci. 

So what’s next for the rest of the team? On defense, we have Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm, who both have long-term contracts. However, we do need to fine-tune who we have on defense. While Connor Clifton has high numbers in blocked shots and hits, ultimately, he is a liability. He turns over the puck way too much for a defender and has cost us games. With the Bruins having to re-sign so many players in the off-season, Clifton can be cut from the team. 

While Matt Grzelcyk wasn’t my favorite defender this season, he did grow a lot and has a lot of upside to him. Grzelcyk’s contract is up at the end of next season, so might as well keep him around for one more season and see what he can do. The Bruins’ defense looked great during the regular season but fell apart in the playoffs. While the defense was the main reason we got knocked out in the first round, there isn’t much they need to improve on. Next year they just need to continue playing defense in the playoffs. 

When it comes to forwards, many players need to be re-signed. I’m not sure how Don Sweeney will approach the off-season, but hopefully, Tyler Bertuzzi will remain a Bruin next season. Bertuzzi brings a type of fire to the Bruins that affects the players around him. He is young, fast, and extremely talented on the puck. Trent Frederic is also a restricted free agent with a similar play style to Bertuzzi. Frederic and Bertuzzi are aggressive players that complement each other well, so we can only hope Freddy returns. 

The Bruins will not have this kind of season again next year, that is certain, but I do believe they will be in good shape for the 2023-2024 season. With this season ending in such a disappointing manner, the Bruins will be on a revenge tour next year.