This article is part of our Team Previews series.
The last team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups was the 1997-98 Red Wings, and that occurred well before the NHL introduced a salary cap that has produced a fair amount of parity in the league and made it nearly impossible for on-ice dynasties to develop.
Still, the Bruins, whose 2010-11 championship effort came as a bit of a surprise, are in a good position to make another run at Lord Stanley this season thanks to a solid foundation of talent that remains largely intact and quite possibly bolstered by some promising young forwards.
The Bruins' most important contributor last season ended up being goalie Tim Thomas, who was originally expected to be a backup. He's returning to man Boston's nets in 2011-12, which is obviously a good thing, but if he were to suffer an injury, the team probably wouldn't skip a beat thanks to the presence of his extremely capable backup, Tuukka Rask.
Underlining the balanced nature of a Bruins' attack that notched a solid, 244 goals in 2010-11 (good for fifth in the league) is that no one scored more than 62 points for the team last season. That's not to say that Boston does not boast talent up front, but it was the team's overall depth – three lines with scoring punch and a capable energy line – that served them well in the long haul. Despite the loss of the talented but inconsistent Michael Ryder and grizzled leader Mark Recchi, the nucleus