This article is part of our Team Previews series.
Two goals in a nightmarish 17-second span, which clicked in the 18:44 mark of the third period of Game 6 of the 2012-13 Stanley Cup finals abruptly, prevented the Bruins from forcing a winner-take-all Game 7 in their thrilling playoff series against the Blackhawks.
The soul-crushing ending capped an up and down season for the Bruins, who finished the lockout-shortened campaign with 62 points (28-14-6) and as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the postseason. In fact, the Bruins were on the brink of a first-round exit before they mounted a stunning third period comeback of their own against the Maple Leafs in Game 7 of that series to stay alive in the playoffs.
After that narrow escape, the B's then went on a roll, wining eight of their next nine outings, dispatching the Rangers in the second round in five games, before upsetting the powerful Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, while sweeping them in the process.
By evading a demoralizing early elimination, the Bruins were able to avoid a "heads are gonna roll" approach and while changes were unavoidable this offseason, the team's brass and much of its nucleus returns in 2013-14. While there will be some new faces sporting spoked B's this season, the Bruins remain a deep, talented and defensively-responsible team. Moreover, the organization boasts further capability and stability in the form of general Peter Chiarelli, who continues to manage the salary cap well enough for the team to remain highly competitive,