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12th Feb 2019, 3:45 AM
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins rebuilt faster than expected and the result was a 50-win season in 2017-18 Youth Pavel Zacha Jersey , the 10th in franchise history.But their playoff run ended in the second round, leaving room for improvement that owner Jeremy Jacobs hopes comes with the continued maturity of Boston’s young players around its core of veterans.Jacobs was asked about his expectations during the Bruins’ media day Monday at Warrior Ice Arena.“My expectations never lessen so far as this team is concerned. … They’re young, we’ve got that on our side, and we’ve got a good warehouse of talent,” said Jacobs, who’s entering his 44th season of ownership of the Bruins.“I expect them to improve on last year. Because we didn’t start as strongly, I guess it was more the finish, we didn’t (the start) have last year.”The Bruins started 6-7-4 last season Authentic Taylor Hall Jersey , but their 50-20-12 record earned them second place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.After defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the first round — the Bruins’ first playoff series win since 2014 — they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the second round.The Bruins open their regular season Wednesday on the road against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, who will raise their championship banner during a pregame ceremony.As if the competition wasn’t enough of a challenge in Boston’s attempt to have a better start, they’ll have a greater challenge because defenseman Torey Krug will not be in the lineup.Krug had a left ankle injury in the Bruins’ preseason finale against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Krug is in a walking boot and will be evaluated in three weeks.Krug had 59 points (14 goals, 45 assists) in 76 games last season and was working his way back from a fractured ankle that ended his season after the fourth game against Tampa Bay in the playoffs.With Matt Grzelcyk, the replacement for an injured Krug both at 5-on-5 and on the power play, trying to return from a lower-body injury, the Bruins’ depth is being tested early.“Well given the fact that Torey is starting injured, I think that adding John Moore was a benefit to our group and deepening that Womens Will Butcher Jersey ,” said general manager Don Sweeney, who signed Moore as an unrestricted free agent from the New Jersey Devils on July 1.Rookie Urho Vaakanainen is also in line to pick up some of the slack depending on Grzelcyk’s status.The Bruins have at least gotten positive news on center Patrice Bergeron, whose return from offseason groin surgery was hampered by back spasms. He didn’t play in any preseason games, but practiced with the team for the second time on Monday and took contact in some drills. He anticipates being in the lineup on opening night.Like Jacobs, Bruins president Cam Neely desires a better start to the season. However, Neely’s more interested in how the Bruins finish.“I don’t want us to look at our point total and how many wins,” Neely said. “I want us to look at are we playing the way we want to play, are we playing the way the coach would like us to play http://www.officialislanders.com/authent.... , are we competing in a way that gives us chances to win every game and are we getting better as the season progresses as we get into the playoffs.” The Dallas Stars will move forward with their new coach and a familiar young face after missing out on the NHL’s top free agent.General manager Jim Nill started another long offseason for the Stars without postseason play by hiring coach Jim Montgomery out of the college ranks in early May. On the first day of free agency Sunday, right wing Valeri Nichushkin signed a $5.9 million, two-year contract to return to Dallas after the last two seasons playing at home in Russia.Nichushkin was the 10th overall pick by the Stars in the 2013 draft, and had 64 points (23 goals, 41 assists) while playing 166 games in three seasons by time he was 21 before returning to Russia and playing in the Kontinental Hockey League. Now he is back in the NHL at age 23.”Over his past two seasons in the KHL and with the national team, he has continued his growth and development as a hockey player,” Nill said. ”He is a fantastic addition to our depth at forward and we look forward to his return to our club.”The Stars were one of six teams who met last week with John Tavares, the New York Islanders captain who on Sunday agreed to a $77 million Anders Lee Jersey , seven-year deal to play for his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.Tavares could have been a big boost for the Stars, who have missed the playoffs eight of the last 10 seasons. Dallas still has high-scoring All-Star forwards in captain Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. They also have goaltender Ben Bishop, who got a new backup Sunday.Free agent goaltender Anton Khudobin signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Stars after a backup role in Boston last season behind Tuukka Rask. Khudobin has played in 147 games with 135 starts over the past nine seasons with four different teams.Dallas also signed 12-year veteran right wing Blake Comeau to a $7.2 million, three-year contract after he spent the past three seasons in Colorado. Defenseman Roman Polak got a $1.3 million, one-year deal after 54 games for Toronto last season.The 32-year-old Comeau, the Islanders’ second-round draft pick in 2004, had 13 goals and 21 assists last season with the Avalanche. That included three short-handed goals.”His elite speed makes him a disruptive defensive presence and he fits well with what head coach Jim Montgomery is trying to accomplish Andrew Ladd Jersey ,” Nill said.Goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who is second in Stars history with 215 wins but had become a backup to Bishop, is an unrestricted free agent.The Stars lost left wings Antoine Roussel ($12 million, four years with Vancouver) and Curtis McKenzie ($3 million, two years with Vegas), and defenseman Greg Pateryn ($6.75 million, three years with Minnesota) in free agency Sunday.—
 
 
 
   
   
 
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