This might offend some Habs fans, but let’s be honest, the Bruins rock. Sitting at the top of the power rankings with 105 points and having played fewer games than many of their division opponents, the Bruins have dominated the NHL 2022-23 season—they could be coming for the Habs’ all-time record of 132 season points. With their seemingly untouchable winning momentum and an encouraging internal culture to support it, Boston should easily take home the Stanley Cup.
The Bruins wasted no time establishing their winning streak; they lost just three of their first 20 games and registered a record 14 straight home wins, devastating the many fans who call the Bruins their most-hated team. Most impressively, the Boston team has lost a mere 10 games in regulation, three under the current record of 13 losses in an 82-game season held by the Detroit Red Wings. In terms of points, the Bruins lie 11 points above the next most successful team, the Carolina Hurricanes, who have racked up 94.
As for player performance, David Pastrnak, the Bruins’ top goalscorer, has been an absolute powerhouse. On track for 50 goals this season, “Pasta” has spent the entirety of his time in the NHL thus far with the Bruins and recently signed an eight-year extension.
Strong individual performances have also notably come from the Bruins’ two goalies, Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, who boast save percentages of 0.938 and 0.913, respectively. Ullmark has been the best in the league this season, and even scored a goal against the Vancouver Canucks––something an NHL goalie hasn’t done since 2020 and a Bruins goalie has never done. The wholesome, supportive relationship between Ullmark and Swayman is indicative of the positive atmosphere in the Bruins’ locker room. They end every game with a heartwarming goalie hug, a tradition that began after the 2021-22 season opener.
Throughout the season, the Bruins have continued to add to their locker room by signing several exciting players. They recently traded Craig Smith and some future draft picks for Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals, as well as Tyler Bertuzzi from the Red Wings. Despite concerns that trading for new players could potentially mess with the Bruins’ winning formula, the new acquisitions have all meshed well with the team and registered goals or assists as Bruins. These introductions will undoubtedly add pep in the Bruins’ step to stick with their upward trend rather than falling flat.
But why are the Bruins so good? Tactics and player performance will always play a role in a team’s success, but the Bruins wouldn’t be where they are without their strong locker room culture.
They have had a succession of spirited team leaders, with the leadership legacy of former captain Zdeno Chara—who notably banned the hazing of rookies—being carried on by captain Patrice Bergeron and other players like Nick Foligno and league irritant, Brad Marchand. The culture is one that players are proud of, motivating them to perform for the team.
In the wake of the Bruins’ reprehensible signing of racist and ableist bully Mitchell Miller, team leaders stood firm in their disdain for the decision and maintained a united front. Management put coaches in a tough position but thankfully, the Bruins players who were asked about the deal didn’t shy away from expressing their aversion to the signing. Bergeron emphasized that Miller’s behaviour goes strictly against Boston’s carefully-built team culture.
The team calls a hockey-obsessed state home, and thus has a fanbase that is arguably one of the strongest in the NHL—this is particularly a plus considering that their season record could bring them a home-ice advantage for at least the first two rounds. It is undeniable that the league’s most disliked team is equipped to win the Stanley Cup this season, and the fans will only add fuel to their winning prowess. What Boston supporter doesn’t want to celebrate a B’s goal at the Garden as Kernkraft 400 taunts the opposing team in the background?