from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
What the Bruins have done in recent weeks, basically, is hover in place. They’ve gone neither up nor down.
• They lost key right winger Loui Eriksson, who made the smart business move to Vancouver. They replaced him with another right winger (or center) in David Backes. They likely lose some scoring and gain some grit. Both guys are known as strong and responsible defensive forwards. So, all and all, it’s pretty close to an even tradeoff.
• The B’s re-signed defenseman John-Michael Liles, a good move at a cut-rate $2 million.
• Dennis Seidenberg was bought out. As sad as it is to see Sides go, one of the nicest men we’ve gotten to know here, he clearly lost a lot, and the $2.8 million in salary-cap savings next season could be invaluable.
• Riley Nash seems a decent pickup, even if only of the fourth-line variety.
You can talk about all this stuff. But there’s really only one key for the 2016-17 Bruins — Tuukka Rask.
The B’s erstwhile Vezina Trophy goaltender has to play better than he did last season, maybe even the last two seasons, or it’s mighty hard to see this team being much more than a mediocre also-ran. Last season, his goals-against average (2.56) and save percentage (.915) were by far the worst of his five seasons as the No. 1 netminder for the Bruins.
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