By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88
They say the Stanley Cup is one of the hardest trophies to win in sports and despite a record-breaking season, the Boston Bruins ended their Playoff run with a big thud. And while the Bruins are going through the motions of the Game Seven loss on home ice, their efforts throughout the regular season have earned them NHL Award nominations.
While the awards offer little solace to the many shocked Bruins fans, it does serve as a kind of distraction as management ponder what could’ve been with this year’s fully stacked roster.
A Few Firsts
On May 5th, the National Hockey League announced that Bruins Head Coach Jim Montgomery was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, as voted by the NHL Broadcasters Association. The award, a first for Montgomery, is given annually to the coach who has contributed the most to the team’s success.
In a record breaking first season with the Boston Bruins, Montgomery finished with a 65-12-5 record for 135 points, setting the NHL record for single-season points and wins. That feat earned the B’s the President’s Trophy which is given to the team with the most points at the end of the season.
Under Montgomery, the Bruins also became the fastest team in the NHL history to reach 100 points and 50 wins. Boston also set a new record with 14 straight home victories to start the season. Montgomery holds the NHL record for most wins (65) by a head coach in their first season with a team, beating Mike Babcock who previously held the record with 58 wins.
Between The Pipes
Aside from the evident Playoff woes, Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark had a stellar season alongside his partner Jeremy Swayman-a tandem that became a huge part of the team’s success during the regular season.
On May 11th, the National Hockey League announced that Ullmark had been nominated for this year’s Vezina Trophy. The annual trophy is given to the goalkeeper who is considered to be the best at the position and is voted by the General Managers of all the NHL clubs.
In a season of many firsts, this is the first time that Ullmark has been nominated. He posted a 40-6-1 regular season record with a 1.89 goals-against-average and a .938 save percentage. His efforts also the led the league in save percentage, goals-against-average and wins.
While becoming the fastest goaltender in the NHL history to reach the 40 wins, he also became the 13th goalie in the league’s history (and first in the franchise) to score a regular-season goal during the team’s 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Both Ullmark and Swayman were awarded the William M. Jennings Trophy, which is presented to the goaltenders that play a minimum of 25 games and allowing the fewest goals during the regular season. Tuukka Rask, Tim Thomas and Pete Peeters were the team’s previous winners of the Vezina Trophy.
A Little Extra More
Yesterday the league announced Bruins forward David Pastrnak as a finalist for the 2023 Hart Memorial Trophy which is given to the player deemed most valuable to his team-a first for the 26-year-old.
In this year’s regular season, Pastrnak posted a career-high of 61 goals with 52 assists for 113 points. During the team’s 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, he recorded his 15th career hat trick, his 60th goal of the season and his 300th career goal. Pastrnak’s 15th hat trick landed him in second place in the team’s history, trailing only behind Phil Esposito.
He was one of just two players in the NHL to score 60 or more goals this season. Pastrnak led the team in goals (61), assists (52), power play goals (18) and power play points (37).
Pastrnak was also named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award alongside Erik Karlsson and Connor McDavid, an award given to the most outstanding player in the league-voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association.
Another For the Captain
While it’s not a surprise for the team and its fans (or the league) Bruins Captain Patrice Bergeron was named a finalist for the 2023 Frank J. Selke Trophy. The award is given annually to the forward who also exemplifies excellent defense as judged by the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association.
This will be Bergeron’s 12th consecutive nomination, winning the award in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2022. If he wins, he becomes the first ever six-time Selke Trophy winner.
During the regular 2022-23 season, Bergeron posted 27 goals and 31 assists, ranking fourth in the league amongst NHL forwards. He is also one of just two players in the league to take 1,700 or more faceoffs. The 37-year-old lead the NHL with 1,043 faceoff wins with a 61.1-win percentage. Bergeron is also the third player in franchise history to hit 50 career-playoff goals.
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