Brad Marchand has gone from energetic pest to potent scorer for the Bruins. Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

With the regular season looming, all 31 NHL teams are preparing for their season openers with one goal in mind: winning the Stanley Cup. It is a time of optimism as each team begins a new road to a potential playoff run.

For the Boston Bruins, collecting as many points as possible in the early months of the season is extremely important.  The Atlantic Division features worthy opponents including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, who will all be eyeing playoff spots along with the Bruins.

With only eight teams from each conference making the playoffs, letting points slip away is not an option for the Bruins. These five players will lead Boston to what they hope is a second consecutive playoff appearance.

Patrice Bergeron

The heart and soul of the Bruins is back, entering his 14th season in the league. Bergeron has been the No. 1 center for the Bruins for years now, as he has been considered the best defensive forward in the league. His talent in the face-off circle is also considered one of the best.

Last season, Bergeron scored 53 points with Brad Marchand by his side. He will look to continue his great play all over the ice.

Brad Marchand

Marchand is now considered one of the league’s most dangerous snipers after two phenomenal years. He has scored 76 goals in the past two seasons, and a reunion with Bergeron on his line will create even more scoring chances.

Marchand has transformed to an offensive dynamite and will look to reach the 40-goal mark this season.

David Pastrnak

After receiving a long-term deal worth $6.66 million per year, Pastrnak can now focus on doing what he does best: scoring goals. He took a big step last season, scoring 70 points in 75 games, including 34 goals.

Pastrnak and Marchand can lead the Bruins offensively, as they did last season.

Charlie McAvoy

With Zdeno Chara aging and entering the last year of his current contract, the rookie sensation has a lot on his plate. McAvoy is expected to be a key contributor on the power play. Chara’s minutes will most likely go down, which will lead to an increase in time on ice for McAvoy.

McAvoy’s offensive talent will give him the ability to score 35-40 points in his first full season in the NHL.

Tuukka Rask

The rock of the Bruins is entering the fifth year of his contract at age 30. Rask has the ability to carry the Bruins when the playoffs role around, but he has to be at his best during the regular season as well.

Last season, Rask showed signs of greatness and signs of mediocrity in the regular season.

In the 2013 playoffs, he was brilliant in virtually every game. He allowed two goals in the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins while leading the Bruins to the final.

Rask has what it takes; he just has to bring it every game.

This article first appeared on and was syndicated with permission.

TEAMS: Boston Bruins
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QUIZ: Name every player on the Stanley Cup-winning roster of the 1971-72 Boston Bruins

Can you name every player on the NHL's Stanley Cup winning roster of the 1971-72 Boston Bruins?

1 - G
Eddie Johnston
4 - D
Bobby Orr
6 - D
Ted Green
7 - C
Phil Esposito
8 - RW
Ken Hodge
9 - LW
John Bucyk
10 - D
Carol Vadnais
10 - D
Rick Smith
11 - C/RW
Mike Walton
12 - LW
Wayne Cashman
14 - LW
Garnet Bailey
16 - C
Derek Sanderson
17 - C
Fred Stanfield
18 - RW
Ed Westfall
19 - RW
John McKenzie
20 - D
Dallas Smith
21 - LW
Don Marcotte
22 - C
Ivan Boldirev
23 - D
Matt Ravlich
24 - D
Bob Stewart
24 - RW
Terry O'Reilly
25 - C
Garry Peters
26 - D
Don Awrey
27 - RW
Reggie Leach
27 - D
Nick Beverley
28 - RW
Doug Roberts
29 - D
Ron Jones
30 - G
Gerry Cheevers

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