The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and one of the original six National Hockey League (NHL) teams. The Bruins were founded in 1924 and have a storied history, including six Stanley Cup championships and several legendary players, such as Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, and Ray Bourque.
Over the years, the Bruins have developed a fierce rivalry with several other NHL teams, particularly the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers. The team’s fan base is among the most passionate in the NHL, with a strong tradition of loyalty and support for the team. In recent years, the Bruins have been led by players such as Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy and have consistently been one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
2022/23 Boston Bruins
When the Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, CEO Charlie Jacobs, president Cam Neely, and general manager Don Sweeney named Jim Montgomery the new head coach back in July, expectations for this year’s team were tepid, there were question marks on the blueline, and in the net, and the team would start the season without Marchand, McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk, all recovering from off-season surgeries.
The team responded with a torrid start, winning their first three games and 17 of their first 19. Boston ended the year 28-4-4 and 60 standings points in 36 games, pacing for a would-be record of 137 points. Boston didn’t lose at home until January 13, 2023, and by the end of the month, the Bruins were 38-7-5 and found themselves the betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup just in front of online Massachusetts sports betting being legalized. Could the timing be better?
While the Bruins have fallen off record pace a bit (they are 40-8-5 with 85 points in 53 games at the time of this writing), they could still threaten the 46-year-old, 132-point season of the Montreal Canadiens, but it would take an incredible finish. Boston needs to pick up 48 of 58 possible standings points in their next 29 games. It seems unlikely, but we’ve seen crazier things in hockey.
The Record Season
The 1976/77 Montreal Canadiens season was one for the history books as the team set an NHL record with 132 points, surpassing the previous record of 121 points held by the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens finished the regular season with a history of 60-8-12, which included a 28-game unbeaten streak, and went on to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.
Led by head coach Scotty Bowman and featuring a talented roster including Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, and Ken Dryden, the Canadiens dominated their opponents throughout the season. Lafleur led the league in scoring 136 points, while Dryden was a force in the net with a league-leading 2.24 goals against average. The Canadiens’ impressive season will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in NHL history.
Boston Down the Stretch
The Bruins are the favorites in the betting odds for a reason. Boston is stacked with talent across the board and has a good blend of experience with Bergeron, David Krejci, and Marchand, along with rising talent such as McAvoy, Pastrnak, Pavel Zacha, and goaltender and Vezina Trophy favorite Linus Ullmark.
Last season at the trade deadline, Boston acquired veteran defenseman Hampus Lindholm from the Anaheim Ducks and signed him to an eight-year, $52 million contract extension a day later. This season they will be buyers again and have reportedly been looking to bolster their blueline with targets such as Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes and Vladislav Gavrikov of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Reports also say the Vancouver Canucks Luke Schenn might be an alternative for Boston should they miss out on a top-tier blueliner. Vancouver looks to be rebuilding after trading Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders and shopping team captain Brock Boeser and moving Schenn would make a lot of sense.
On the offensive front, rumors about the Chicago Blackhawk’s Patrick Kane, the St. Louis Blue’s Ivan Barbashev and Ryan O’Reilly, and the San Jose Sharks Timo Meier persist, particularly after the New York Rangers moved to acquire Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues. There is not a lot of urgency at forward for Boston. Versatile winger Jake DeBrusk returns from injury this week.
DeBrusk practiced as an extra forward on Monday, and Jim Montgomery classified him as probable for Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators. DeBrusk has missed the last 15 games recovering from an assortment of injuries and has been having a career year.
Sweeney has been aggressive at the deadline these past two years and will absolutely be exploring all options to improve his hockey club over the next two weeks.