Despite losing in the end, Rask proved himself time and time again during the 2013 regular season and playoffs, leaving few left to wonder if he has what it takes to lead a team deep into the postseason.
Considering the Bruins came within two wins of claiming their second championship in three years, Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli was expected to make few changes to his roster this offseason but he wound up doing the opposite. The Bruins traded away the likes of Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to Dallas and also watched as other players like Nathan Horton, Jaromir Jagr and Anton Khudobin leave for free agency.
Chiarelli did make up for the loss of Jagr by signing veteran winger Jarome Iginla to a one-year, $6 million contract over the summer. Getting another winger -- Loui Eriksson -- from Dallas in the Seguin deal also could help spark an offense that ranked 13th in the NHL in scoring during the 2013 regular season.
With Rask in net, Zdeno Chara on the blue line and head coach Claude Julien back on the bench, the Bruins expect to return to the playoffs for a seventh straight year in 2013-14, but the roster overhaul could make another trip to the Cup Finals a difficult task to repeat.
FORWARDS - Even with the roster turnover this summer the Bruins should have the makings of two extremely dangerous lines heading into this season.
Eriksson and Iginla expect to fill the right wing spots on each of the top-two lines, joining either the center/left wing duo of David Krejci and Milan Lucic or Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Krejci and Bergeron give the Bruins a pair of top-line centermen, with the former taking the bigger chunk of offensive responsibility. Bergeron, meanwhile, is capable of playing a defensive shutdown role in addition to his contributions on offense. Bergeron is so valuable to Boston that the club decided to hand the 28-year-old an eight-year, $52 million contract extension over the summer.
It should come as no surprise that both Bergeron and Krejci were a huge part of Boston's success last spring. They tied for the team lead in goals with nine during the playoffs, while Krejci led all NHLers in postseason scoring with 26 total points. However, the Bruins may have to do without Bergeron at the very start of this season, as he may not be fully recovered from numerous injures, including a separated shoulder and a punctured lung.
Boston's top left wingers -- Lucic and Marchand -- couldn't be any different from each other. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Lucic is a bruising power forward who can dominate with his combination of size and skill. Marchand, on the other hand, is best described as a "pest," but despite being only 5-foot-9, 183 pounds, he can be every bit as dangerous as Lucic.
Marchand led all Bruins with 18 goals and 36 points during the regular season, but dropped off to four goals in the playoffs. Lucic, meanwhile, had just seven goals in 46 games during the regular season before exploding for the same amount in just 22 playoff games.
The 36-year-old Iginla, who picked the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Bruins at last season's trade deadline, could fill Horton's vacated role to the right of Krejci and Lucic. The former longtime Calgary Flames captain notched 14 goals and 33 points over 44 combined games with the Flames and Pens last season and added four goals and eight assists in 15 playoff games for Pittsburgh.