Back in black and gold: Bruins 2021-2022 season preview

Luke Moran, Crier Staff

It’s that time of year again, folks. The weather is cooling off, winter is around the corner, and Causeway Street in Boston is bustling with excitement as the Bruins are finally back for the 2021-22 NHL season. 

The Bruins season formally began on Saturday October 16th with a 3-1 win over Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars in Boston. Brad Marchand scored 2 in the win as Boston’s top line of Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrňák led the charge as they have for the last few seasons now, generating high-danger scoring chances and holding their counterparts off the score sheet. Marchand’s first goal of the game (and of the Bruins season) came on a penalty shot, which last happened in the NHL for the Bruins again, when Chris Kelly (now a team assistant) scored on a penalty shot in the team’s 2013-14 season opener. 

Jake Debrusk scored the game winner in the 3rd period to put Boston up 2-1 before Marchand’s empty net goal late. This is a great start for the streaky Debrusk, who had a down season last year and is hoping to bounce back with a new-look third line that includes free agent signings Erik Haula and Nick Foligno. 

Rookie Jeremy Swayman impressed as the Bruins new #1 man in between the pipes, stopping 27 of 28, with Dallas’ Luke Glendenning scoring the lone tally for the Stars. This is the first season Tuukka Rask has not been the Bruins opening night starter since 2012, when Tim Thomas was at the helm. Swayman and off-season acquisition Linus Ullmark are expected to platoon through goalie roles this year with Rask recovering from hip surgery and still unsigned by the team. 

Overall, it was an impressive win for the B’s, who look to get that elusive second Stanley Cup with a core that includes Bergeron and Marchand. 

What to Look For: 

This year has a lot of question marks for the Bruins. How they can deal with them is going to make or break their ability to compete for a Cup this year. 


In a surprise move, longtime center man David Krejci left the Bruins this offseason for his home in the Czech Republic. This created a hole on the second line in between wingers Taylor Hall and Craig Smith, who saw a lot of success with Krejci last season. Charlie Coyle has slid up from the 3rd line, but he will only stay if he succeeds. The Bruins need this line to work if they are going to have a legit chance, but only time will tell. 


After a crushing six game 2nd round loss to the Islanders this spring, the Bruins made some investments in their depth in the offseason. Erik Haula and Nick Foligno were brought in to help give some stability to a 3rd line that has been very up and down the last couple years, and Tomas Nosek will be expected to hold down the fort on the 4th line. Derek Forbort was signed on the back end, and the Bruins plan for him to log heavy minutes with their workhorse, young stud Charlie McAvoy, who just signed the richest deal in Bruins history. And finally, Linus Ullmark was signed from the Buffalo Sabres to helm the net with Jeremy Swayman.  


Tuukka Rask has been the Bruins starting goalie since 2013-14, and has been a great success for the team. Despite questions of his competitive level and clutch factor, Rask has been a steady presence in a changing hockey landscape. However, this season he is not here. Being a free agent and having undergone a hip procedure this summer, Rask is not in the B’s locker room for the first time in a long time. Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have big shoes to fill. Swayman impressed in a short stint with the big club last season, and Ullmark has performed well with the putrid Buffalo Sabres. But together, they’ll have to provide a high level of goaltending if this team is to go anywhere. 


This Bruins team is good, but some people are counting them out. In a division that includes the two time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, the high powered Toronto Maple Leafs, and the rising Florida Panthers, they’ll have to fight tooth and nail to be playing when commencement approaches in the spring. But they should be able to do it. With the best line in hockey in Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrňák, Charlie McAvoy continuing to develop into one of the league’s best defenseman, and an updated bottom 6 that will provide strength and scoring, these Bruins should be able to compete for a Stanley Cup.