By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26
With the Bruins’ dominant 7-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday and the team improving to 48-8-5, Boston has become the fastest team in NHL history to reach 100 points in a season (61 games). The previous record was held by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, who broke the single-season record for most points with 132 (60-8-12). Montreal achieved this outstanding record during their remarkable dynasty period from 1975-1979 and won the Stanley Cup four years straight.
The Bruins have a strong lead of first place in the NHL with a 15-point lead over the second-place Carolina Hurricanes and a 17-point lead over their inner division rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston has had a dominant season due to the team’s elite scoring depth throughout their forward group, talented defensive core, and tremendous goaltending. The club has 13 players with 20 or more points and an astonishing 104-goal differential.
Don Sweeney and Boston’s management have continued to add to their already stacked lineup during the week leading up to the trade deadline with the additions of Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals and Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings. Despite having traded their future first-round draft picks in 2023 and 2024, given the current state of the Bruins in the standings, the mindset for this team is to win now. Tyler Bertuzzi has yet to debut in black and gold but is expected to start in the Bruins matinee against the New York Rangers on Saturday.
On the other hand, Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway have already played a handful of games and left their mark. Garnet Hathaway on the Bruins’ fourth line has already played as expected and brought a physical role, registering eight hits in four games while also tallying two assists. Dmitry Orlov, in particular, has exceeded early expectations and has played astoundingly for Boston with three goals, five assists, and a plus-two rating through four games. While it may take some time before the three players get fully accustomed to Bruins’ head coach Jim Montgomery’s systems, there is still just over a month before the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With the lower body injuries to key forwards Taylor Hall (LTIR) and Nick Foligno (IR), it’s encouraging that management has gone out and added game-breakers to the lineup. Hall is currently seeking a second opinion on his injury, while Foligno’s injury seems to be more significant. While there is no timetable on a potential return of Hall and Foligno, there is a slight chance that the Bruins’ forwards return during the playoffs.
The Bruins still have 21 games remaining in the regular season and have a chance to break Montreal’s record-breaking season. If you ask any player on the Bruins, chasing history is fantastic, but it isn’t the end goal for this team. The history that the 2022-23 Bruins are pursuing is getting their names on the Stanley Cup, and we are only a few weeks away from the team embarking on the journey to reach their goal.
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