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2021 NHL preview: These five players need to step up for Bruins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Bruins enter the 2020-21 NHL season as a top team in the Eastern Conference, but whether they are real Stanley Cup contenders is up for debate.
The B's had a bad offseason that saw two key defensemen -- Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara -- leave in free agency without any comparable players coming in to replace them. Craig Smith was a nice addition up front, but the veteran forward won't solve the team's secondary scoring issues alone.
Whatever you think of the Bruins, there's no debate that several of their players must step up and take their game to a higher level for the team to make a deep 2021 playoff run.
Which players need to improve for the Bruins to contend this season (excluding the obvious: goaltending)?.