By: Mike Sullivan | Follow me on Twitter @_MikeSullivan
The Boston Bruins and their fans have little to complain about coming into the new year.
The 2022-2023 Boston Bruins became the first team in the league to reach 30 wins this season, and it only took them 38 games. That ties the second fastest to reach 30 wins in NHL history, placing them alongside the 1944-1945 Montreal Canadiens, who also reached that plateau in 38 games. The fastest team to ever reach 30? The 1929-1930 Boston Bruins reached that milestone in 36 games. The 2022-2023 Bruins are etching their mark in hockey history books.
With the regular season almost halfway completed, the Boston Bruins are atop the Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference, and NHL standings. They’re far and away the powerhouse of professional hockey at the moment. They sport a record of 30-4-4 (64 points), with the second closest team being the Carolina Hurricanes at 25-8-7 (57 points). The Hurricanes have also played two more games than Boston.
The Bruins also won the best goal differential in the NHL at +60. The second closest teams? The Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils at +30. Oh, they also have the Vezina Trophy leading candidate in Linus Ullmark between the pipes. To say that this Bruins team is firing on all cylinders is an understatement.
Now, to brainstorm some New Years’ Resolutions for 2023.
A healthy Linus Ullmark: This should be a no-brainer for a 2023 resolution. Linus Ullmark leads every significant goalie statistic in the NHL. He’s atop the leaderboard in goals against average at 1.86. Second to Linus is Carolina Hurricane Pyotr Kochetkov, who has a 2.20 GAA in eight fewer games played. Ullmark also leads in save percentage at .939. Behind Linus is Winnipeg Jet Connor Hellebuyck at .928. Same with wins, with Linus standing at 21 to Hellebuyck’s 20. A healthy Ullmark is crucial to Boston’s continued success.
A healed Jake DeBrusk: Jake DeBrusk is blossoming into the player that the front office believed he was. Inconsistency and lack of production plagued fans’ confidence in 74’s ability to play top minutes for this team, but he has silenced the critics this season. In 36 games played for the Bruins, Jake DeBrusk has amassed 30 points playing alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Jake has potted 16 goals and tallied 14 assists while also bringing physicality. He’s sixth on the team in the hit category with 51 bone-crushing body checks. He’s engaged in every way imaginable.
Most recently, Jake scored the only two goals for the Bruins in the Winter Classic. Clutching the win for the B’s at Fenway, only for news to break later that he had suffered a fractured fibula during the game. He’s expected to be out for four weeks, and this lineup will miss his presence every game he’s out. Get better, JD; we miss you.
A reliable Jeremy Swayman: To say Jeremy Swayman has underperformed this season is more than fair. Although he has been playing better recently, the beginning of his season was abysmal, culminating in a disastrous game against Arizona where he allowed three goals on 24 shots. As it stands now, Swayman carries a goals-against average of 2.68 and a save percentage of .900. He also accounts for three of the Bruins’ four regulation losses and three of the Bruins’ four overtime/shootout losses. Nevertheless, I have confidence in his ability to find his comfort zone and become the goalie we all know he is.
There it is. Three New Years’ resolutions for your 2023 Boston Bruins. What an unbelievable 2022 we’ve seen, and here’s to continued success in 2023. Happy New Year everybody!
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