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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:29 PM ET
No. 48: Boston Bruins

By Rachel Ullrich
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 58
Title track: (T) 17
Ownership: 52
Coaching: 41
Players: 41
Fan relations: 41
Affordability: 100
Stadium experience: 69
Bang for the Buck: 29

Despite their team's Stanley Cup loss to the Blackhawks, Bruins fans still believe their B's are on the right track, albeit a crazy expensive one. In fact, Boston climbed 10 spots overall in this year's standings and improved in all categories but three. But even those setbacks can be explained away. The six-spot drop from 2012 in the title track category is misleading since the team's fantastic finals run didn't happen until after our polling. The four-spot slide in the ownership ranking certainly wasn't helped when Jeremy Jacobs was seen as a driving force in last season's lockout (though perhaps he'll have improved his reputation with the eight-year, $56 million contract Tuukka Rask signed this offseason). And the lone remaining decrease, a 13-point dip in the players category, should be helped by the Bruins' July signing of forward Jarome Iginla (530 career goals) from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bruins fans are an optimistic bunch; the team's biggest bump this year came in its bang for the buck. Apparently, 156 wins in the past three years more than make up for high prices ($64.39 for an average ticket -- 12th highest in the NHL), a league-high $25 parking price and a rapidly aging TD Garden, which averaged 100 percent capacity for the third straight season.