NHL season previews often sell you an impressive bill of goods before you realize, at the end of the season, you're holding an empty box. Which makes using advertisements and infomercials the appropriate template for Puck Daddy's 2009-10 NHL Season Previews, presented each day throughout September.
Last Season's Ad Copy (See also Bruins Eulogy): First in the Eastern Conference, (53-19-10, 116 points); lost in the conference semifinals to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.
The Bruins rolled through the first half of the regular season, hit a speed bump in the midway through, but finished the season on an 8-2-0 run in their final ten games to capture the East and fall a win shy of claiming the President's Trophy.
The Bruins would find themselves in a rematch of last season's first-round series with the Montreal Canadiens and quickly dispatched them in four games. Aside from the sweep, the more interesting subplot to the series was seeing Milan Lucic's(notes) stardom shoot into the stratosphere after his dismantling of Mike Komisarek(notes). The Habs' centennial season ended in embarrassing fashion and no team was happier to help the Canadiens start their summer earlier than expected.
In the conference semifinals, Boston quickly came down from their high of sweeping Montreal after they found themselves down 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes in Round 2. In the midst of fighting back to force a Game 7, controversy entered into the equation when Carolina's Scott Walker(notes)punched outAaron Ward(notes) in the final minutes of Game 5. When NHL czar of discipline Colin Campbell felt the need to let the act go unpunished, Walker came back in Game 7 and scored the series-winning goal in overtime.
Will the unexpected early exit be the inspirational theme for the 2009-10 campaign?
To The Recycle Bin (Offseason Subtractions): The decision to let Manny Fernandez(notes) and his bloated contract walk was an easy one and it allows Rask to develop at the NHL level. The loss of Shane Hnidy(notes),Steve Montador(notes) and Aaron Ward on the blue line creates a considerable drop off in talent after Boston's top six defensemen. PJ Axelsson(notes) ended his 11 year career in Boston after leaving to play with Frolunda in Sweden.
And Now, a Public Service Announcement About Hockey Fan Etiquette: