Bruins preview: B’s look to finally skate to the cup

The Boston Bruins have skated through their preseason schedule and will be back in action for their first regular season game on Oct. 16 at the TD Garden. For Boston fans, the Bruins’ home opener could not come quicker. 

Suffolk sophomore James Rooney has always been a Bruins fan and is hopeful about the team’s success for this season.

Based on the Bruins’ final preseason game against the Washington Capitals, Rooney said the full rosters on both teams were a good indication as to how the Bruins will perform this year. Boston lost in overtime 4-3, after a hard fight with goals from Charlie Coyle, Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. 

Rooney, who is related to Kevin Rooney, a forward for the New York Rangers, said he believes some of the Bruins’ starters will be the most crucial to their game play this season. 

“I think Marchand is probably going to have another really good season; he’s been on a high the past few years,” said Rooney.  “I think he and Bergeron have another solid five years of really good hockey left in them.”

Freshman hockey fan Zoia Draganiuc said she is looking forward to seeing one of her favorite players, David Pastrnak, in person this year. 

“It’s always interesting to watch Pasta play because you never know if he’s going to be good or not,” Draganiuc said. 

Boston is also looking forward to testing how the team’s newest free agents will perform this season. New to the 2021-22 roster is goalkeeper Linus Ullmark, defensemen Derek Forbort and forwards Erik Haula, Tomas Nosek and Nick Foligno. Mike Reilly and Taylor Hall, who have extended their free agent contracts with the Bruins, will also be making an appearance in Boston this season.

Though the Bruins are relying on their first line to lead by example, Rooney believes that the Taylor Hall addition will add to the depth of their second line. On the other hand, Rooney is not confident that Ullmark and Foligno, who are also new to Boston, will mesh with the team’s style of play. 

“I think the Bruins are definitely a cup contender this year,” said Rooney. “They still have a good few years of being a playoff team and staying competitive, but I feel like this is one of their last shots of going for it.”

Draganiuc agreed, but is doubtful about the Bruins’ final outcome in the rankings. 

“We always tend to do really well in the beginning and then once it gets serious, we always seem to burn out and not do so well, but hopefully that’s not the case this year,” Draganiuc said.

In the 2020-21 season, the Bruins came in third place for the East division and ranked tenth overall for their 33-16 record. The Bruins lost in game 6 in the second round of playoffs to the New York Islanders, concluding their season on June 9.

“I was here in Boston last year and I wasn’t really able to attend any games due to COVID-19, so I’m hoping to get to a lot more this season,” said Rooney. 

The Bruins take on the Dallas Stars on Saturday at 7 p.m. at TD Garden. 

Follow Ellie on Twitter @EllieMarr21