The B’s are Buzzing 2.0

The Bruins are on record breaking pace.


Tony Gutierrez

The Bruins celebrate a well earned win in overtime against Dallas

Jacob Prue, Staff Writer

The B’s are buzzing. In fact, that might be an understatement. The Boston Bruins are dominant and there appears to be no way they are slowing down. 

Want to know how dominant they are? They are the fastest team in NHL history to reach 50 wins. They are on pace to have 64 wins, the most in NHL history, breaking the joint record of 62 wins held by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings, and the 18-19 Tampa Bay Lightning. They are also on pace to have 133 points, breaking for the most points of all time with the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens with 132 points.

Bruins defenseman, Charlie McAvoy, lays out a Rangers player in another Bruins win. (Michael Dwyer)

As of March 23rd, the Bruins currently have a record of 55-11-5 and 115 points, having a point percentage of .810. They have already punched their ticket to the playoffs, clinching it when they beat Detroit 3-2 and the Ottawa Senators lost to the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on March 11. The next team with the closest amount of points is the Carolina Hurricanes with 100, a 15-point difference.

There are other stats to show the Bruins’ dominance. For example, a goal differential of +116 leads the league by a landslide, with the next closest being the New Jersey Devils at +54. Not only that, they have the best team save percentage (.931%) and best goals against per game (GAA) (2.11). The next closest in both those numbers are the New York Islanders (.920) and the Hurricanes (2.56).

Now they are many reasons for the Bruins’ unexpected success this year. I have seen three main reasons for how the Bruins have gotten here, and there are not that hard to see.

Bruins’ goalies Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Sweyman embrace in a bear hug after every win. (Boston Hockey Now)

The first and most obvious reason is goaltending. As already stated, the Bruins have the best team save percentage and GAA in the league. The key reason is the best goaltending duo in the league, Linus Ullmark, and Jeremy Sweyman.

Linus Ullmark is having a season for the ages. He is easily the Vezina trophy winner this year and should be receiving votes for the Hart trophy. This year he leads the league in GAA (1.95), save percentage (.937), and wins (37). Not only that, he had scored a goalie goal this year, being one of 13 goalies ever to do so. This season has saved his career, being discarded by the Sabers and now becoming otherworldly with the Bruins. He has become the staple that the Bruins need for a playoff push and should be considered the best goalie in the league.

The “backup” goalie, Jeremy Sweyman has not been playing like a backup goalie this year. Despite his limited number of starts, Sweyman is third in GAA (2.20), fourth in save percentage (.920), and has 4 shutouts, tied for second in the league. During March, Sweyman hadn’t given up a goal in 165 minutes and 33 seconds. A hockey game is 60 minutes long without overtime. Jeremy Sweyman has exceeded expectations in turns of development and has proved this year, especially in the last couple of months, that he can produce like a top five goalkeeper in the league.

David Pastrnak, leading the team in goals (49) and points (95), is celebrating a career year (Michael Dwyer)

The second reason is the depth that Bruins have this year. Not only does due the Bruins have the best goaltending duo, but they also have one of the best cores of a team in general. For forwards, they have: David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Jake Debrusk, Taylor Hall, David Krejci, Pavel Zacha Tyler Bertuzzi, Trent Frederic, Nick Foligno, and Charlie Coyle. For defensemen: Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelyck, Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, and Dimitri Orlov. 

Most of the players have been drafted by Boston while others like Hall, Lindholm, and Orlov have come through a trade. Some are young and just hitting the best parts of their career, like Pastrnak, Debrusk, and McAvoy, and others like Bergeron, Marchand, and Krejci don’t have much time left. The core is the perfect balance of young and old, skill and physicality, and everything in between.

Jim Montgomery smiling at the successful season he has brought to the Bruins (John Tlumacki)

The final reason for the Bruins’ success this year, and maybe their most important, is their new coach Jim Montgomery. Last year, former head coach Bruce Cassidy was fired after another failure in the playoffs. The Bruins did make a cup appearance in 2019, losing to the St. Louis Blues. Other than that year, the Bruins never made it out of the second round, usually falling to Tampa Bay in embarrassing fashion.

The front office felt like Cassidy wasn’t going to be able to get them there again so they figured to roll the dice on a new head coach. Most people questioned the hiring, including myself. Montgomery has made everyone eat their words, turning the Bruins from a projected one and done in the playoffs to one of the best regular-season teams of all time. To me, he is the main reason why they are here and why the Bruins have found massive success this year.

The playoffs are clinched for the B’s, so what’s next? The Bruins are projected to win the President’s Trophy by a landslide, but they have huge matchups for the last couple of weeks of the season. Four of their last twelve games are coming against teams the Bruins will likely face in the playoffs, Tampa, Carolina, New Jersey, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. But Boston seems like they have it under control. The Bruins seem to be all in this year, anything but a cup will be disappointing. But this team can most certainly go all the way.