5 reasons why Bruins are in a tier of their own this season

The Boston Bruins of the 2022–23 season no longer compete against their rivals throughout the regular season; they compete with the ghosts of yesteryear.

Boston is fighting for its status as one of the greatest teams of all time and is currently on track to beat the Montreal Canadiens in the 1976-77 season for most points in the regular season (132). This year, the Bruins became the fastest team to score 100 points and threaten to break the record of 62 wins set by the 1976-77 Canadiens and the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning.

My colleague James O’Brien summed up Boston’s path to becoming the greatest team of all time in January. Here’s how the Bruins have fared throughout the year and the main reasons why they’re ranked above the rest in the NHL.

Bergeron spends a season for the ages

Patrice Bergeron has the best season of his legendary career; an absurd thought, given that he turns 38 in July. Boston controls a stunning 64.2 percent of expected goals in a 5-on-5 game when on the ice thanks to Trick with natural characteristics, the best NHL rating among players with 500 minutes or more. He unquestionably dominates the competition, and while David Pastrnak will be the recipient of the Hart Trophy, the Bruins’ unrivaled success this year starts with their captain.

Bergeron was the best faceoff player in the NHL. He wins ties with an impressive 62.2% in 5v5 matches and 60.48% in all situations, which is all the more remarkable given that he has the third highest number of faceoffs in the NHL, behind only Bo Horvath and Sidney Crosby. by the number of throws. three draws.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Bergeron wins the Selke Trophy unanimously. To date, he is the best defensive forward in the NHL; his only real opponents are linemates, and he’s had 37 goals on the ice to 14 to 5-on-5. This will be the sixth time – the second year in a row – that Bergeron has received the award, and it was arguably his most comprehensive work to date.

Bergeron’s lead also extends off the ice as Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said he eased the transition for all of the team’s acquisitions after the deadline.

“When Patrice Bergeron is your captain, people very quickly get used to the culture and how important it is to be here,” Montgomery said. Wednesday. “Under the leadership of Patrice Bergeron, there are some great co-captains who understand that Spoked-B is more important than anything in the world, and that is where we are heading.

The Boston Bruins are arguably the most balanced team the NHL has ever seen.  (Reuters)
The Boston Bruins are arguably the most balanced team the NHL has ever seen. (Reuters)

“This is more than just leading by example. He leads by example – we train like champions every day thanks to him and others … they compete. There is professionalism in what we do on the ice… but more importantly next to Patrice is Patrice’s understanding of other people and being empathetic, no matter if they go well or badly, he sees it, he addresses it, he communicates with them.

“Best example: I have met with a few players because your job as a coach is to watch and be aware of these things and you have to pick the guys up or hold them accountable anyway and a lot more. times, I will be a player in my office this year and [ask them], “How are you dude?” And they’ll be like, “Well, Patrice talked to me. I’m in a better place.”

Bergeron is also a central component of Boston’s league leader in penalties, stopping opponents at 86.6%, a full three percentage points more than second-place Carolina.

The Bruins have split the Perfection Line into two great combinations.

Remember when Jake DeBrusque demanded a trade from the Bruins? It may be ancient history. DeBrusque leads the NHL in expected goals at 60 among all qualified players (500 minutes of play or more), with Bergeron in second place. Brad Marchand, by the way, takes 63rd place – he is clearly messing around!

Boston’s nominal top form controlled 63 percent of expected goals and 73 percent of actual goals while on the ice, scoring 16 goals to six to 5-on-5. All three players are in the top 16 expected goals in a 5-on-5 game, and Boston’s second most used combination has been a nightmare. The line of perfection (Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak) was split into two flawless combinations, and there is virtually no scenario in which the Bruins would take off the gas pedal.

David Krajci returned from his year-long sabbatical with renewed vigor and rejoined the Bruins. He now occupies a central position in the nominal second tier of a team that includes candidate Harta Pastrnak and former top six player Pavel Zaka. This unit led the opposition 26-12 at 5-on-5, while the Perfection Line, when they reunited, lead the opposition 8-3. It’s also worth noting that Marchand missed the first four games of the year, and the Bruins burned the opposition alive with an impromptu combination of Krejci with center Pastrnak and Taylor Hall.

You can’t go wrong against the Bergeron line or she’ll be penalized on the scoresheet and then you’ll have to face a line made up of candidate Hart, a revived four-time scorer with 20 goals, and a former valuable prospect. who has found his way and is entering his prime. Good luck.

Boston’s bottom six are also crushing opponents

It’s a bit unfair that the Bruins can put the former Hart winner in the Hall in third place and no one bats an eyelid. Hall could miss the remainder of the regular season with an injury, but it is believed he will return from a long-time injured reserve when the playoffs begin. Hall, Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederick have been some of the NHL’s best third line this season, controlling 60% of expected goals at 5-on-5, while Frederick leads the NHL in dangerous goals percentage at 5-on-5. 5. Coyle has also developed into a truly elite defender this season and we don’t expect any slump in Hall’s absence.

Hall and Nick Foligno may be recovering from injuries, but the Bruins took the initiative at the deadline, acquiring Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a conditional 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 fourth-round pick. Choice simply doesn’t matter to elite teams, and the Bruins have acquired a capable, hard-nosed winger two years short of a 30-goal season for little money. Bertuzzi stepped right into the Coyle-Frederick line, scoring an assist in his first game with his new team.

Garnet Hathaway is a thorn in his back to play against, and the Bruins’ optimal lineup is horrendous, especially considering Bertuzzi could drop to fourth when Hall and Foligno return and Thomas Nosek is out. These are good tasks and there is never any doubt in this group.

Ullmark went from outcast to Vezina’s favourite.

Two summers ago, anyone could get Linus Ulmark as an unrestricted free agent, and now the Bruins could have the next goaltender to win Vezina. Ullmark leads all goalkeepers in most categories, including higher than expected goals saved (36), save percentage (0.938) and goals against average (1.89). Together with Jeremy Swainman, he is one of the best tandems in the NHL.

Swainman is the best understudy in the league, but the focus should rightfully be on Ullmark. He presented one of the best goalkeepers we have ever seen. And that’s usually where you mention that he’s the beneficiary of one of the best defenses in the NHL – of course, the Boston defense helped him a lot – but on the rare night that the Bruins don’t choke, Ullmark persevered. . He single-handedly beat the Bruins in a game, making 54 saves against the Calgary Flames on February 28, when both clubs were 37 shots apart, three days after he scored against the Vancouver Canucks.

When your favorite Vezina goalkeeper is scoring goals, the opposition has little to do. Good luck to everyone who gets the failed Bruins mission in the first round.

Orlov helps a huge team of “Boston” to accelerate on the blue line

We’ve written extensively about the Bruins’ forwards and excellent goaltending, but their biggest advantage may be on the blue line. Brandon Carlo and Hampus Lindholm told Sportzshala Sports ahead of a 6-2 win over the Maple Leafs on Feb. 1 how the Bruins are focusing on their team’s speed, focusing on head control of the puck. Lindholm, who signed an eight-year, $52 million extension after joining the Bruins last year, has become one of the NHL’s best defensemen this season.

“I’m a good skater who wants to be on the ice trying to join in and the defensive part has always been easy for me because that’s what I developed in the first place, being a two-sided defender and in charge of defense,” Lindholm said. . “It’s a lot of fun for me to explore the offensive side, get up and join the rush. I think it’s years of my work – I know it sounds like it just exploded, but there’s a lot of work behind it. It’s nice to have a thriving team.”

The Lindholm-Carlo pairing worked exceptionally well for the Bruins, scoring 25 goals to 14 on the ice while controlling 55 percent of expected goals and 64 percent of actual goals in a 5-on-5 game. They are one of the best pairings in the NHL, and their speed and offensive intuition are the main reasons for their success.

Charlie McAvoy is the best defenseman for the Bruins – if you want to argue with Lindholm, we don’t mind – and he was often paired with Matt Grzelczyk, and he led Boston’s blue line with 43…

Source: sports.yahoo.com

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