( Photo Credit: Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports

By: Cody Stelluto | Follow me on Twitter @TownieTalkCody

The Boston Bruins are on fire this year with a 38-6-4 record leading the National Hockey League with 80 Points in the standings. To put that into perspective, the next closest teams (Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes) are tied with 68 points each. The Bruins are in a different stratosphere on the points system and putting up absurd stats in many categories this year, one being the goal differential.

The Bruins are a +82 goal differential vs. opponents this year, while the next highest sits at +41 (Dallas Stars). Oh, and by the way, they might be the most balanced team in the league considering the ‘league-high save %’ and ‘league-low 2.04 GAA’. It seems like a recipe for a cup, right? 

Well, not, according to many Boston fans. This incredible season has caused many to wonder if the Bruins are playing TOO well. This narrative is causing fans to compare them to the 2019 Tampa Bay Lightning, who completed the season at 62-16-4 prior to an early exit in the first round at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The comparisons come from the fact that it was a similar season for the respective teams then and now. Throw in a President’s Trophy-winning campaign, and you have Boston fans yelling “NO” since the last two Presidents’ Trophy-winning seasons won by the Bruins didn’t translate to Stanley Cups Championships in 2014 or 2020.

Now onto why You Shouldn’t Worry about a similar exit

The Bruins are not worried, and you should NOT be concerned. This team is different, and there are many reasons why I don’t see them getting embarrassed in the first round as the Lightning did. We will start with the most obvious one being experience. The core leadership of this team has been through it all when it comes to playoff hockey. Three players still stand from that 2011 Stanley Cup Champion team (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci), but 11 players were here for that brutal 2019 game-seven loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Experience is always the biggest life lesson, and I believe a run like that, with such a disappointing outcome, builds character in a locker room with so many returning players. Just as the Lightning did, I believe the Bruins will learn from that tough 2019 lesson. The core has been through so much, and even though they touched a cup in 2011, the rest of this team knows how great it would be to let those old guys touch another one (as well as cement their own legacies).

One person that might not have that same experience is coach Jim Montgomery. Being his first year with this team, and he’s another reason why I think they won’t get bounced early. He seems to be very good at making the boys comfortable, relaxed and taking some pressure off them, whereas Bruce Cassidy seemed to have the club more up-tight at times and afraid to make mistakes. That, mixed with the more offensive-focused coaching style, should see the Bruins avoid a scoring drought that sometimes plagues them in Playoff runs. Adding in the depth of this team, it’s just something they really haven’t had consistently since 2011.

The Czech line is a thing of beauty, and Taylor Hall on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic causes tons of mismatches for opposing coaches. Even though the defense has a Norris trophy-caliber player on the second defensive pairing in Hampus Lindholm, and assuming they stay healthy, it is a tough roster to beat in seven games. Bruins fourth liner Nick Foligno will be a big help in this run, as he was a captain for the Columbus Blue Jackets when they took out that 19′ Lightning team in the first round before losing to the bruins in round two.

I think this team is just too leadership-driven and experienced to fall in the first round like that Tampa team did. I know we are just approaching the All-Star break, and things change quickly in an NHL season, but assuming they keep it up in the second half here, it’s going to be tough to envision a first-round exit from these dominant Bruins.