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Bruins season preview: Defense/goalie projections 10.01.13 at 8:24 am ET
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Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara

Here’s the second installment of the player projections for the 2013-14 season, featuring defensemen and goalies. For a look at the forwards, click here.

Note: It’s silly to predict injuries, so all players’ projections will assume they play somewhere in the 75-82-game range. Extra forwards/defensemen aren’t shown given the uncertainty of whether (and where) they’ll play. 

DEFENSEMEN

Zdeno Chara: 13 goals, 37 assists, 50 points

Chara wasn’t bad in the Stanley Cup finals; he was hurt. When he isn’t hurt, he’s one of the best defensemen in the game. It’s as simple as that.

Dennis Seidenberg: 5 goals, 22 assists, 27 points

It’s a contract year for the 32-year-old Seidenberg, so he’ll have plenty of motivation to perform. Depending on what happens cap-wise and given the Bruins’ group of young defensemen, this could very well be Seidenberg’s last season in Boston.

Dougie Hamilton: 10 goals, 20 assists, 30 points

Don’t forget how good Hamilton was at the start of last season. If he can sustain that throughout this campaign, the 10-goal mark is certainly within reach.

Torey Krug: 11 goals, 19 assists, 30 points

After what he did against the Rangers, people’s expectations of Krug might be a little high, but here’s what we do know: He can skate, he’s smart, and he’ll be on the power play. Points will find him.

Johnny Boychuk: 4 goals, 15 assists, 19 points

Johnny Rocket turned into Johnny Wrist Shot last postseason. It will be interesting to see if his offensive success changes his regular-season approach.

Adam McQuaid: 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points

McQuaid isn’t there for his offense, which actually makes him a logical defensive partner to balance out Krug.

GOALIES 

Tuukka Rask: 54 starts, 2.20 goals-against average, .922 save-percentage

This isn’t a suggestion that Rask will take a step backwards performance-wise, but smaller goalie pads plus a Red Wings team that should score more than it did let season minus Andrew Ference should equal more human numbers.

The only question regarding Rask there should be is whether he can physically handle a full season and playoffs, something he’s never done as a starter at the NHL level. Rask did play 57 regular-season games and 16 playoff contests in the 2008-09 season for Providence, but he hadn’t played into late June in the previous season.

Chad Johnson: 28 starts, 2.41 goals-against average, .912 save-percentage

The 27-year-old Johnson doesn’t have a ton of NHL experience (10 games), but he’s been good at the NHL level with a 1.97 GAA, .929 save percentage and a shutout. We’ll see how good a replacement for Anton Khudobin he ends up being.

Read More: 2013-14 Bruins Projections, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara
Bruins season preview: Forward projections at 8:23 am ET
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Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla

It isn’t the opening week of the NHL season without people incorrectly guessing what’s going to happen (not to brag, but what has two thumbs and totally called that Johnny Boychuk would score five goals in 2011-12? Yeah, that’s the extent to which these predictions have been right).

Here’s a look at the predictions for the offense. As you can probably tell by the goal totals, the thought here is that the B’s will see some bigger individual performances than in years past. Part of that is the fact that the top two lines will be very good and part of it is the smaller goalie pads.

Note: It’s silly to predict injuries, so all players’ projections will assume they play somewhere in the 75-82-game range. Extra forwards/defensemen aren’t shown given the uncertainty of whether (and where) they’ll play.

David Krejci: 23 goals, 52 assists, 75 points

Playing with two heavily motivated power forwards, Krejci sets a career high in points. Then again, he’s probably going to put up 75 points in a single playoff run one of these years.

Jarome Iginla: 35 goals, 29 assists, 64 points

Thirty-five goals for the aging Iginla — sounds crazy, right? It shouldn’t. That’s just half a goal less than what Iginla has averaged in the last four full seasons. The argument against this happening is that he’s 36 years old now, but he hasn’t appeared to have lost a step and certainly hasn’t worn down. He’s missed a grand total of zero games due to injury since January of 2007.

Milan Lucic: 31 goals, 30 assists, 61 points

Two 30-goal-scorers for the Bruins in the same season? That hasn’t happened since the 2002-03 season, but B’s came three goals away from it in 2011-12. Lucic won’t slump this season like he did last year; Iginla will demand more of him.

Patrice Bergeron: 22 goals, 49 assists, 71 points

Also look for Bergeron to be among the league-leaders in plus-minus. With the addition of Loui Eriksson to his line, the bump in offense will mean he remains a Selke favorite.

Brad Marchand: 31 goals, 26 assists, 57 points

I’m actually predicting that every player in the NHL will have 30 goals this season, including goalies. All kidding aside, there is no reason why Marchand’s numbers shouldn’t go up this season, as he’s stepping one year further into his prime and he’s playing on the best line he’s been a part of in his NHL career.

Loui Eriksson: 28 goals, 37 assists, 65 points

These numbers might not jump off the page, but we’ll go with a more conservative prediction for Eriksson as we learn more about him. Among the questions: Will he be better or worse now that he’s got people paying attention?

Chris Kelly: 12 goals, 20 assists, 32 points

Kelly doesn’t have it in him to have two bad seasons in a row, but there are definitely questions about what this line will produce.

Carl Soderberg: 14 goals, 17 assists, 31 points

At long last, Carl Soderberg is an honest-to-goodness NHLer. He’s had his training camp, he’s used to the ice and he played in two Stanley Cup finals games for good measure. We’ll see how he holds up at wing.

Reilly Smith: 10 goals, 17 assists, 27 points

After winning the job, Smith now has the challenge of keeping it. He looked good in camp, so expect him to stick.

Gregory Campbell: 10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points

He’s healthy and ready to do something – anything – to make people forget about his leg.

Daniel Paille: 13 goals, 10 assists, 23 points

Just a reminder: Paille scored 10 goals in the 48-game season last year. He’s a serviceable third-liner playing on the fourth line.

Shawn Thornton: 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points

This is the last year of his current contract, but Thornton doesn’t want it to be his last in Boston.

Read More: 2013-14 Bruins Projections, Jarome Iginla, Loui Eriksson, Milan Lucic
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