The 2022-2023 Boston Bruins have started the season on an unprecedented pace. After tonight’s win over the Winnipeg Jets, they have reached 54 points. They are only 32 games into an 82-game season. It’s simply insane.
Hockey is a fickle-mistress. If you look at the history of teams that have won the President’s Trophy (which is awarded to the team that finishes the regular season with the most points), it hardly reads like one of legends or even dynasties.
Hockey is the one sport, especially at the top level of NHL competition, that shows that anything can happen. 8th seeds have won the Cup as recently as the LA Kings. The Stanley Cup Playoff is one of the biggest tests of attrition in all of sports.
It’s way-too-early to crown the Bruins; however, at the pace they are at; it’s hard to ignore they are currently doing historic things.
What awaits the Bruins?
There is still a long way to go in the season. Comparisons to the 62-win Red Wings of 1995-96 are coming about. Whispers of the 132-point Montreal Canadiens of 1976-77 season record are also coming up.
The reason most teams that dominate the regular season end up going one-and-done in the playoffs, is because of the enormous pressure that is placed upon them. When you are constantly taking everyone’s best shot, the hay-maker can always land. Giants fall. Especially in the NHL.
The Bruins have an insane amount of depth at all positions. A possible Vezina-trophy candidate in net. His back-up has the ability to string-together similar performances. Taylor Hall has been on their 3RD LINE most of the season. Hall is a former first-overall pick. The 4th-line is one of the best in hockey.
Was a coaching change the catalyst?
Jim Montgomery has changed the Bruins from a defense-first, neutral-zone team to one that is playing run and gun and showing an insane amount of offensive skill.
You don’t end-up 32 games-in with a goal differential of +55 by mistake.
Former Bruins-coach, and current-coach of the Vegas Golden Knights, Bruce Cassidy was that same trigger once upon a time. When Claude Julien was relieved of his duties, Cassidy was brought-in and provided an immediate spark to a team that was lagging offensively. Cassidy was/is an amazing coach. Messages and voices run out of steam, no matter the sport. Cassidy also held a similar belief of defense-first, but he allowed the offensive talent to flourish a lot more than under Julien.
Montgomery, has thrown any reins away. The Bruins are firing on all-cylinders under his leadership. Much of the Bruins past-failures have come because of a lack of offense in the postseason. Can Montgomery’s offensive system turn the Bruins into the team that can avoid playoff disappointment?
We’ll have to see.