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Why the Bruins will win: Rask, defense, timing

By Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

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Why the Bruins will win: Rask, defense, timing
Tuukka Rask is solid, the defense is underrated and isn't it about time the hockey gods smiled on Boston?
Can the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup? Of course they can!

Yes, the 2009-10 regular season has been disappointing after last season's run to the Eastern Conference's regular-season title. But the Bruins held on and got themselves invited to the dance again this time around. That's a start.

Now, they just need to start over and the pieces are there to make a run.

Young goalie Tuukka Rask has been very good for Boston, supplanting Tim Thomas for the starter's job. Thomas, however, remains a solid fall-back option for coach Claude Julien. Remember, Thomas is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner.

The Bruins also have defenseman Zdeno Chara, one of the few defensemen in the League with the size and skill to physically handle Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the top stars in the Eastern Conference.

Boston is almost certain to have Marc Savard back in the lineup for the Conference Semifinals after he was recently given medical clearance to return from a concussion that has kept him out since March 7. To get this far without Savard, the team relied on the patchwork lineup that got them through a touch-and-go stretch drive. New heroes -- like David Krejci -- will have to step to the forefront too. Last season, Carolina used depth scoring to hand the Bruins a surprising second-round roster. Hopefully, Boston remembers that lesson.

Plus, it has been 38 long years since the Bruins last won the Stanley Cup. Every other major sports franchise in Boston, plus the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer, have all won titles in the interim.

Isn't it time the hockey gods show some favor to The Hub's hockey team?
Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp