By: Benjamin Aliber | Follow me on Twitter @bpaliber24
The 2022 calendar year was a wild one. From blockbuster trades to signings and internal issues, the list could go on for a very long time. But, with 2023 right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of those magical moments. So, without further ado, here are my top five moments of 2022 for the Boston Bruins.
NUMBER FIVE – TUUKA RASK RETURNS, THEN RETIRES
On Tuesday, January 11, Tuukka Rask signed a one-year, $1,000,000 deal to return to the Bruins featuring an NMC (No-Movement Clause). Rask underwent hip surgery in 2021 to repair a torn labrum. Unfortunately, he re-injured his hip leading up to the All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas during a 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on January 24.
Rask then retired and stood as the franchise leader in games played (564), games started (544), shutouts (52), and wins (308). He finished with a record of 308-165-66, a 2.28 goals-against average, and a .921 save percentage, which is the third-best in NHL history.
NUMBER FOUR – BRUINS FIRE BRUCE CASSIDY:
After being eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bruins GM Don Sweeney fired head coach Bruce Cassidy. The 2019-2020 Jack Adams award winner boasted a 292-155-53 record over his six seasons behind Boston’s bench. His replacement and the 29th head coach of the original six franchise, Jim Montgomery.
Before the season started, this was possibly one of the worst moves any team could have made, considering Cassidy’s success in Boston. But, as the months passed, no one was asking Cassidy to return. As a result, Jake DeBrusk is turning into a true superstar-caliber player, David Pastrnak is on track for the best year of his career, and the Bruins have set multiple NHL and Franchise records!
NUMBER THREE – HAMPUS LINDHOLM TRADED TO BOSTON:
Two days before the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, the Bruins acquired Hampus Lindholm from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, a 2022 first-round pick, and second-round picks in 2023 and 2024. Lindholm and the Boston Bruins then agreed to a maximum-term, eight-year contract extension with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million. In 45 games with Boston, Lindholm has 32 points, with 27 of them coming from this season alone.
This trade has been a blessing for Boston as they now have a solid blue liner to be paired with Charlie McAvoy. Since Zdeno Chara was not resigned, Boston was in shambles regarding the backend, trying everything they could to find his replacement. Now, it seems they might have. There are still seven more seasons of Lindholm, but if he continues to perform at the level he has been since the 2022-23 season started, there is no doubt the team should not second-think their decision.
NUMBER TWO – BRUINS SET NHL RECORD FOR CONSECUTIVE WINS AT HOME TO START A SEASON:
On November 25, the Boston Bruins made history! After a 3-2 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes, they recorded their 12-straight win at home since the season started, breaking the prior record of eleven straight games. Boston added two more on top of that, as it now stands at 14 consecutive wins.
It is crazy to think about this one compared to all the others, but it had to be up there. Boston is having a season for the history books. They are 18-0-3 at home and still yet to lose in regulation! They have scored 81 goals on home ice and let up only 41…14! They have won 14 of those 18 in regulation and currently have the best record in the entire NHL.
NUMBER ONE – PATRICE BERGERON RECORDS POINT NUMBER 1,000:
For this, we all know the impact it had on not only Bergeron but also the team and fans. It would dishonor to add a bunch of filler words to the end of this, but it had to be at the top of the list. Bergeron is a once-in-a-generation talent. Few players can say they recorded 100 points in the NHL, let alone 1,000! Only 94 other players have achieved the mark, and on November 21, the five-time Frank J. Selke winner became the club’s newest member after a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
SPECIAL MESSAGE: Thank you to everyone reading this article and the others I have produced over the last few months here at Black N’ Gold Hockey! It means so much to write for all of you and share my work. Happy holidays and here’s to a happy and healthy 2023!