Boston Bruins season opener preview and predictions

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 19: Zdeno Chara
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 19: Zdeno Chara /

Finally, Boston Bruins hockey is back. They’ll open the season on Thursday night against the Nashville Predators and P.K. Subban.

The Boston Bruins will be without three key veterans when they open their 2017-18 season at home on Thursday night. Defenseman Torey Krug had already been ruled out, and now, reports are that both Patrice Bergeron and David Backes are out tonight.

Others like Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Zdeno Chara are going to have to step up. Young players like Charlie McAvoy and Anders Bjork will need to play big, and Tuukka Rask will have to be on top of his game to lead the B’s to a win.

Here are the recent practice lines for the Bruins. This could be what they go with to open the season as well.


  • Brad Marchand – Ryan Spooner – Anders Bjork
  • Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – David Pastrnak
  • Matt Beleskey – Sean Kuraly – Frank Vatrano
  • Tim Schaller – Riley Nash – Noel Acciari

Patrice Bergeron is certainly going to be missed between Marchand and rookie Anders Bjork. Those two will have to step up and carry the load for this Boston team in their first game of the season. Luckily, the 2nd line is intact. DeBrusk earned that spot and will play alongside the two David’s for the foreseeable future. The bottom six though leaves me with a ton of questions.

This will at least give Kuraly, Vatrano, Schaller, and Acciari a chance to prove they belong in Boston. They could be considered tweeners, and two will be out of the lineup when Backes and Bergeron are back. The young guys need to take advantage of their opportunities on the ice tonight.


  • Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
  • Kevan Miller – Charlie McAvoy
  • Matt Grzelcyk – Adam McQuaid
  • Paul Postma

The defense, even without Torey Krug, doesn’t look so bad. Carlo should play well alongside Captain Z, and a Miller – McAvoy pairing makes a ton of sense. Then, Adam McQuaid on the third pair can really still get things done. Honestly, I’m not too worried about this group in the season opener.

Of course, Tuukka Rask will get the start between the pipes. Any time he’s in net, the Boston Bruins have a chance to win.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 14: Brad Marchand /

First Star: Brad Marchand: 2 G, 4 SOG

With Bergeron out, you know Marchand feels the pressure to play big on the team’s first line. He loves the added pressure on him and usually thrives with it. Marchy also likes the national spotlight, and he wants to show the rest of the NHL that he’s a MVP-type player without Bergeron’s help. Put him down for 2 goals on the night, and the first star of the game.

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Second Star: Tuukka Rask: 34 saves on 35 shots

Tuukka Rask is still elite. Got it? Ok, good.

He’ll prove it to you tonight as he allows just one goal on the night.

Third Star: Anders Bjork: 2 A, 3 SOG

The third star of the night goes to a rookie. Playing next to Brad Marchand, Anders Bjork gets an assist on each of his goals. He tallies three shots on goal himself as well.

Game Prediction: Bruins 3, Predators 1

Boston is hindered with the injury to three veterans, but they still have the talent to earn a game one win. Tuukka Rask and Brad Marchand will lead the way to victory.

Next: A look at the Bruins poor asset management

The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators faceoff at TD Garden with puck drop at 7 PM EST. The game can be watched on NESN in the Boston area. You can also follow along with us on Twitter @CandCFanSided as we keep track of this game, and the New England Patriots game that kicks off at 8:35. We’ve got you covered with all you need on this busy Boston sports day.