The staple of the Boston Bruins for the past few years has been their defense. Having Tim Thomas sure helps, but the defense has been a huge help. Last postseason, the combination of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg was dangerous, and Adam McQuaid also emerged.
This season should be no different in the Claude Julien system. The defense should be just as dominant as ever, and one of the best in the NHL this season. Here is a look at the personnel and what to watch for in the defenders.
Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg
This pairing is arguably the best in hockey. In the playoffs, they were. They were tasked with shutting down players such as Steven Stamkos, Mike Richards and the Sedin brothers. The two passed with flying colors and were two of the biggest reasons behind the Bruins’ Cup victory. These two should continue to be a very solid pair for this Bruins team, and the leaders of the club. Chara is the captain, and with Mark Recchi gone, Seidenberg could be a new alternate captain.
Joe Corvo and Andrew Ference
Corvo is a new addition to the Bruins this season, being traded from the Carolina Hurricanes. Corvo may be the puck mover the Bruins need. He will likely see a lot of power-play time, but while on even strentgh he will likely be paired with Andrew Ference.
Ference was another unsung Bruins playoff hero, scoring a goal versus Montreal in the first round and playing steady defense throughout. This should be an interesting pairing, with Corvo a more offensive player, whereas Ference focuses primarily on defense.
Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk
It was a tale of two seasons for these two. McQuaid took huge strides to become a fan favorite and terrific defender, while Boychuk suffered a step back. Boychuk was coming off a great rookie season, appearing to be a good power-play option as well as a very good defender. It could and may well have been a sophmore slump, and the Bruins hope so as he can be an important piece to the puzzle.
McQuaid is a physical player willing to drop the gloves and battle when needed. He and Boychuk are good complements for each other with their different skill sets, and should be a good third pairing.