Boston Bruins, 63 wins in a single season
Boston Bruins, 63 wins in a single season
The Boston Bruins have established a new NHL record by winning 63 games in a single season, following their recent triumph over the Flyers.
Prior to the season, the Boston Bruins were worried about how far behind they might fall in the standings before injured players Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy returned. However, upon Marchand’s return on October 27th, the team had already won 6 of their 7 games, and when McAvoy made his season debut on November 10th, they had a record of 11-2.
Building on that momentum, the Bruins continued to succeed and ultimately set a new NHL record of 63 wins in a season on Sunday. Despite sitting out six regular players, they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3, with David Pastrnak scoring a hat trick and bringing his season goal total to 60, and his career total to 300.
The previous record of 62 wins was held by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning.
It was only a matter of time before the Boston Bruins set a new NHL record. On March 2nd, they became the fastest team to reach 100 points, and just 10 days later, they set another record by becoming the quickest to reach 50 wins, all while clinching a playoff berth. Then on March 30th, they clinched the Presidents’ Trophy as the top team in the regular season, with a total of 131 points, just one point shy of the record-setting 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, with only two games left to play.
As the season draws to a close, the Bruins have the opportunity to set yet another historic league record, as they need only two more points to surpass the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens’ record for the most points in a single campaign. In addition to these potential records, the Bruins have already set team records for the most wins, the most road wins, and the most points in a season.
With the Presidents’ Trophy secured and home ice advantage throughout the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins have their sights set on nothing less than a championship this spring.
How did the Bruins make it?
The most significant change came when the Boston Bruins made the decision to let go of coach Bruce Cassidy and replace him with Jim Montgomery. Although Cassidy had previously led the Vegas Golden Knights to the playoffs, his departure was not due to any shortcomings in his coaching abilities. Rather, the Bruins sought to bring in a new voice, and Montgomery was seen as a promising coach on the rise, having joined the St. Louis Blues as an assistant after being let go by the Dallas Stars and seeking treatment for personal issues.
Two of the most significant player personnel moves for the Boston Bruins were the re-signing of captain Patrice Bergeron for one year and the return of David Krejci from a one-year stint in the Czech Republic. With both players back in the fold, the Bruins boasted an impressive one-two punch at center, which was a welcome change after struggling to find a reliable second center last season. Additionally, the Bruins made a shrewd move by acquiring Pavel Zacha from the New Jersey Devils and subsequently signing him to a four-year extension. Zacha proved his worth by scoring two goals against his former team, and he also had a goal and an assist on Sunday as the Bruins tied the wins record.
David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm
David Pastrnak stepped up and provided a much-needed boost to the Bruins’ offense in Brad Marchand’s absence, while defenseman Par Lindholm helped the team weather the storm during Charlie McAvoy’s injury. Pastrnak was on fire in October, racking up 17 points in nine games and maintaining his scoring form throughout the season. He became the Bruins’ first 50-goal scorer since Cam Neely in 1993-94, their first 60-goal scorer since Phil Esposito in the 1970s, and their second 100-point scorer since Joe Thornton in 2003-04. Pastrnak would likely be a strong contender for the Hart Trophy if it weren’t for Connor McDavid’s exceptional season in Edmonton. Meanwhile, Lindholm had signed an eight-year extension with the Bruins after being acquired in a trade last season. On March 2, the team rewarded Pastrnak with an eight-year, $90 million extension.
Last season, goaltenders Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman split their time equally, but their routine was disrupted by Tuukka Rask’s short-lived return. However, this year, the net has been exclusively theirs. According to The Athletic, a minor adjustment by goalie coach Bob Essensa has elevated Ullmark’s performance to the level of a Vezina Trophy frontrunner. Although Ullmark received most of the starts early in the season, they have since alternated games for the most part. Ullmark has the most wins in the league at 39, and Swayman has 23, with each only having six losses. Their animated celebration of each other’s victories demonstrates their excellent teamwork.
Aggressive in-season moves
The Bruins didn’t rest on their laurels despite their impressive season. They bolstered their physical play by acquiring defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forwards Garnet Hathaway and Tyler Bertuzzi, with Orlov proving to be a valuable addition on the offensive end. The Bruins also had to deal with injuries to key players Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno, but the acquisition of Bertuzzi helped fill the void. Hall recently returned, and with their depth and strong performances from their goaltenders and top players like Pastrnak, the Bruins are poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.
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