By: Tim Dumas | Follow me on Twitter @TimDumas
Of all the possible history the Boston Bruins have of making this season, they are guaranteed just one accomplishment: skating in the playoffs. As of Wednesday, they are the only team to have clinched.
But there are other numbers and records to chase as the regular season begins its wane. And when your organization is 98 years old with more than 3,300 wins, records do not fall often.
Here is a look at some of the team and individual records – and their probabilities – that could fall before the Bruins finish their 82-game slate on April 13.
(All statistics through Tuesday’s win over Ottawa.)
Points: 121 (set in 78-game 1970-71 season when the Bruins later won their first Stanley Cup since 1941 when Bobby Orr flew through the air to cap a sweep of the Blues)
Current: 113 (as of Tuesday)
Road to travel: With 12 games remaining, the Bruins need jour more victories to tie the mark.
Probability: The way this season is going, I’d be shocked if the B’s don’t sprint past this 52-year-old record.
Also in play: The NHL mark of 132, set by the ’76-77 Canadiens, who lost just 8 eight games that season. Putting up 20 points the rest of the way might be asking a lot, but this team is capable, though they may be resting certain players down the stretch.
Note: The final game of the regular season is in … Montreal.
Wins: 57 (also set in ’70-71)
Road to travel: This record could fall as soon as next week.
Probability: As likely as an Alex Ovechkin empty-net goal. Speaking of records, Ovechkin and Pavel Bure share the season mark with nine ENGs apiece.
Also in play: The NHL standard of 62 held by the Red Wings and Lightning.
Points percentage: .875 (set in ’29-30)
Road to travel: The B’s would have to amass 144 points to break that team and NHL record.
Probability: Even if they win all their remaining games, the highest percentage they can achieve is .829. That would put them third all-time, though it would be the highest in an 82-game season, where the current record is .799 by the ’95-96 Red Wings. The .875 mark is likely never to be broken. A team would have to accumulate 144 points to get to .878. By comparison, only two NBA teams have surpassed .875: the ’15-16 Golden State Warriors (.890) and ’95-96 Chicago Bulls (.878).
Goalie wins: 40 (Pete Peeters, set in ‘82-83)
Current: 35 (Linus Ullmark)
Road to travel: If the Bruins continue to equally rotate Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman for the rest of the season, that gives Ullmark six more starts.
Probability: I would put nothing past Ullmark – little gets by him this season – in going six for six the rest of the way.
Save percentage: .938 (Tim Thomas, ’10-11)
Current: .937 (Ullmark)
Road to travel: Ullmark saw 41 shots on Tuesday. If they keep coming at that rate and he keeps stopping pucks at his current pace, that record could fall. But one four-goal outing could knock him back down.
Probability: Like trying to hit .400, consistency is the key. With high-flying teams like the Oilers and Avs not on the remaining schedule, Ullmark could be right on the mark.
Goals against average (modern): 1.97 (Tuukka Rask, ’09-10)
Current: 1.95 (Ullmark)
Road to travel: Ullmark has allowed two or fewer goals in 29 of his 42 starts. He’ll need to continue that trend and throw in a shutout or two or multiple one-goal games.
Probability: See above.
Note: The team record is 1.15 by Tiny Thompson in ’28-29 when the season lasted just 44 games. The league didn’t expand to 70 games until 1949. Many of Boston’s top 10 marks in this category happened before then.
Current: +46 (Hampus Lindholm leads the league; Matt Grzelcyk is second in the NHL at +42, and Brandon Carlo is third at +39)
Road to travel: This is a record that will never be broken by any player on any team. Bobby Orr holds the mark at +124 in ’70-71. (Gretzky’s best was +100 in ’84-85). Even Al Sims’ +63 in ’73-74, 10th all-time in Bruins history, appears safe.
Probability: None. I just wanted to throw in a ridiculous stats put up by the legend Bobby Orr, who turned 75 on Monday.
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