5 players the Bruins need to step up this postseason

Brian Rolston is used to the postseason grind.

Admit it.

A year ago at this time you weren’t expecting much from the Bruins. They’d bow out of the playoffs within a round or two or maybe three, and then you’d turn your attention to the Red Sox. Although the B’s had won their division for the second time in three seasons, their run to the Stanley Cup came as a bit of a surprise to many.

The Bruins won’t sneak up on anyone this spring. Beginning Thursday night vs. Washington, against whom Boston was 1-2-1 this season, expectations will be high. Here are five players sure to factor into the team’s performance in one way or another:

Tyler Seguin – After going scoreless in the final 10 games of February, Seguin found the net seven times in March and added two more scores in the meaningless finale vs. Buffalo. The budding star had his moments in the playoffs last year (few can forget his out-of-nowhere, two-goal, two-assist effort in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals) and may be ripe for a breakout Stanley Cup playoffs performance, a la Brad Marchand last spring.

Tim Thomas - Too obvious? Maybe, but it is impossible not to mention the most important player on the ice, and the guy most responsible for the B’s first Cup since 1972. Thomas got the rest he needed over the last couple of weeks of the season and is primed to stand tall once again. Repeating his performance from last spring will be next to impossible, but he ended on a very similar note. In Thomas’s final eight games last season, he was 6-1-1 with a 1.48 GAA. This season? Try 6-1-1 with a 1.70 GAA.

David Krejci
– The team’s leading scorer during the Stanley Cup push, Krejci had an up-and-down regular season. He finished with a career-worst plus/minus of -5 and at one point in the second half of the season went nine games with just one point (an assist). However, like Seguin, Krejci caught fire once the calendar turned to March. Beginning with a hat trick on March 1, he had 10 goals and 11 assists in the final 21 games.

Johnny Boychuk - The most pressing health concern lies with Boychuk, the leader of the team’s second defensive pairing. He sustained a left knee sprain April 3 against Pittsburgh and remains day-to-day. A key figure on the penalty kill, Boychuk is second to Zdeno Chara in plus/minus among Bruins defensemen, ranks second on the team in blocks and is fourth in hits. Boychuk appears to be on track to return for Game 1. Fellow defenseman Adam McQuaid (eye) is more of a question mark.

Brian Rolston
– Rolston could be this year’s Mark Recchi, a veteran who is used to the postseason grind. Since coming to Boston via a trade with the Islanders, the 39-year-old Rolston had three goals and 12 assists in 15 games. Remember, some fans wanted Recchi benched early in the ’11 playoffs, but Claude Julien stuck with his veteran and it proved to be a binding factor. Rolston can provide a similar presence, perhaps on a slightly smaller scale. He lifted the cup years ago with New Jersey and has appeared in 70 playoff games in his career. That’s a lot of facial hair.


(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.


On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."


Mayor Marty Walsh's Reddit AMA: 5 things to…

Mayor Marty Walsh participated in a Reddit AMA - or "ask me anything" - session on Thursday and shared some of his insight and stories.


Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.


Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

The Word

Taylor Swift has a hard time leaving the…

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.


'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…


Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version


5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.


Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…


Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…


New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.


From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.


Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.


MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.