Coming into the 2022-23 NHL season, most analysts had low expectations for the Boston Bruins. Between an offseason coaching change, an aging core, and injuries to key players, the B’s were assumed to be treading water until their lineup returned to full health.
Even then, they were expected to be wrapped up in a tight playoff race. It’s safe to say that nobody could’ve seen this coming.
Following Tuesday’s 3-1 win against Tampa Bay, the Bruins are off to a 19-3-0 start, comfortably atop the Atlantic Division and tied for the best record in the league.
Their torrid pace out of the gate has been nothing short of historic, as their 13-0-0 mark on home ice has set an NHL record, and they narrowly missed equaling the 1929-30 Bruins’ franchise record start to a campaign.
Given how assertively the Bruins have defied expectations so far, it’s only natural to wonder how they’ve been able to do so. For one, the return of David Krejci has brought a revival of depth scoring that the lineup has badly needed.
Twenty different Bruins have lit the lamp, and seven have more than five goals, powering the league’s top offense.
The depth of the defense has been on full display as well. Hampus Lindholm stepped up admirably in Charlie McAvoy’s absence and played like the elite defenseman Boston acquired at least year’s deadline. He is producing nearly a point per game and +20 figures in over twenty-four minutes a night. Behind him, the pairings have shuffled several times due to injuries, but the performances have been steady in front of goal.
Linus Ullmark has seized control of the net, standing on his head on a nightly basis. His 13 Wins, 2.00 Goals Against, and .935 Save Percentage land him on top of all major goaltending categories., anchoring the league’s stingiest defense. Jeremy Swayman is still looking to regain form following an injury but has five wins in eight starts.
The Bruins are in the midst of a very challenging stretch in their schedule, having already won three of four from Tampa, Florida, and Carolina.
The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights come to town this weekend, and then the B’s head out west for an immediate rematch with both.
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