(Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @nathandrsn

The Bruins head into the 2022/2023 season with mixed expectations among the fanbase. In previous seasons, the hope has been that the Bruins will make a run at the Stanley Cup. Part of that hope was us clinging to the promise of 2019 when the Bruins came within one win of being champions. That lingering hope has dwindled due to poor playoff performances in the last three seasons.

I’m here to offer another shred of hope despite unfortunate circumstances, which comes in the form of a 6’2″, 184-pound, absurdly-flexible goaltender by the name of Jeremy Swayman. I agree with those who say that the Bruins do not have a Stanley Cup-worthy roster. Looking up and down the lineup, the team leaves much to be desired.

For the best NHL odds, click on the highlighted link for a list of hockey games available and important wagering info about each contest. All information therein is from a trusted and reputable website with over 20 years of customer satisfaction. As always, please gamble responsibly.

Up front, there are a lot of questions about who will be playing on the wing on each line. With Brad Marchand out to start the season, Jim Montgomery will need to slot someone in on the first line. Taylor Hall and Pavel Zacha are both excellent options, but once Marchand returns, one of them will have to slide down to the third line.

It also remains to be seen whether David Krejci is still a quality second-line center. I hope that with a full season on a line with Hall and David Pastrnak, Krejci could flourish as he did in the early 2010s. Defensively, the lack of Charlie McAvoy to start the year leaves a massive hole. Hampus Lindholm is a solid number-one defenseman, but after Brandon Carlo, the defensive depth drops steeply.

The good news is that you do not have to be the best team all year to win the final prize in the NHL. A perfect example of this is the 2012 Los Angeles Kings. That season, the Kings finished eighth in the Western Conference. In other words, they stole the last possible playoff spot.

Similar to the Bruins, they did not have a stacked roster. They had a few big names, but their roster was mostly filled with guys who could play a solid two-way game. They then won 16 out of their next 20 games to win the Stanley Cup.

Is it crazy for me to think that the Bruins could do something similar this season? Yes, it probably is. However, if you hear me out, I can make it make at least a bit of sense. The main man behind that miraculous Kings run was their goaltender, Jonathan Quick. Quick is 6’1″, 215 pounds, and absurdly flexible. Does that sound familiar?

With some of the Bruins’ best players returning midway through the season, it seems unlikely that the Bruins will finish near the top of the overall standings. It seems entirely reasonable to imagine the Bruins finding their stride and finishing the season strong, either in the final divisional spot or as one of the wild cards.

Anything can happen if they find a way to get into the playoffs. Included in those infinite possibilities is the chance that Jeremy Swayman, after another season of sharing the net with Linus Ullmark, steps up and catches fire in the playoffs. Admittedly, Quick had a few more seasons under his belt before his insane 2011/2012 season. Swayman’s goals against average and save percentage from last season are not far off of Quick’s numbers before that breakout season.

Swayman’s flexibility allows him to make ridiculous saves and stay in plays even when they appear over. That ability could allow him to steal games and win rounds in the playoffs for the Bruins. I believe there is a possibility that the Bruins will squeak into the playoffs and ride Jeremy Swayman and their returning stars to a Stanley Cup.

You might be sitting at home reading this, thinking, “This guy is crazy. He’s wearing black and gold colored glasses.” I have two responses to that. Yes, I do have glasses that are black and gold. Secondly, if you think it’s crazy to believe in the Bruins this season, remember that crazier things have happened. Let’s go, Bruins.