Tonight the Bruins start their journey towards another President's Cup and hopefully a Stanley Cup. Yes I agree if I had to choose one cup, Sir Stanley's would be the one I would want. Nevertheless the keys to both cups are pretty much the same in my eyes.
As is always most important for any team that starts the season in contention, the key to the Bruins this year will once again come down to who they can keep healthy during the season. Since injuries are bound to happen, it really comes down to who gets injured, how many people get injured, and how bad the injuries are.
Although I was not a fan of Boychuck getting traded, I do think the money may come in handy later in the season when they see what their deficiencies are either due to poor play or injuries.
While teams really have no control over who gets injured, they do have control over how their players are used. This is my second key to the Bruins having a championship run.
The player I would like to see get less playing time this season is Zdeno Chara. Although Chara is the oldest player on the Bruins squad, he has significantly greater ice time than anybody else. As a matter of fact, the soon to be 38-year-old had the 14th greatest amount of ice time per game in the NHL last season.
I find the easiest way to reduce Chara's ice time would be to reduce his amount of play during special teams. Last season he averaged 5:36 of special-teams ice time per game. His next closest teammate was Patrice Bergeron with 3:56.
Personally I think Chara should stay on the penalty kill and see a reduced amount of ice time during power plays. In doing this Chara's ice time would be reduced by about 2 1/2 minutes. I think this small reduction could be very beneficial to Chara's play. Additionally, this would also benefit Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton as they both are good offensively.