With just a handful of games left to play in the NHL season, the Boston Bruins have defied all doubts and continued their tear on the league.
Headed into the All Star Break in February, the Bruins were starting to look rather ordinary. While still being on a record breaking trajectory, they had lost three of their last four games before the break, and lost the first game back to Washington. However, after this slight downturn, the Bruins rattled off 10 wins in a row, cementing their third streak this season of seven wins or more. During this streak, star goaltender Linus Ullmark (he/him) made Bruins history. In the waning minutes of game against the Vancouver Canucks, Ullmark lobbed the puck over all other players and into the net, becoming the 16th goalie in NHL history, and the first in Bruins history.
Although the Bruins were already on a torrid streak, when closing in on the March 3rd trade deadline, general manager Don Sweeney (he/him) believed there were holes in the roster to be patched up. By sending several draft picks and struggling forward Craig Smith (he/him) to the Washington Capitals, the Bruins acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov (he/him) and forward Garnet Hathaway (he/him). In addition, Sweeney, on deadline day, sent more picks to the Detroit Red Wings for forward Tyler Bertuzzi (he/him). So far, all three acquisitions have been impactful players for the Bruins. Orlov, in particular, has been a strong offensive presence the defensive core has needed since Hampus Lindholm (he/him) cooled down from his early season dominance.
Just when it seemed over, Sweeney had one last piece of business to do. After months of clamoring from the fanbase for a deal to be made, star forward David Pastrnak (he/him) was re-signed to the Boston Bruins for 8 years, averaging $11.25M per year. The fanbase erupted in cheers and the Bruins resumed their dominance, secure in their franchise winger being safe for nearly a decade.
However, ever since the deadline, the Bruins have been in a strange skid. The power play has been abysmal, falling from the 2nd best unit in the league for the first 47 games of the season to a bottom five unit over the past 21 games. Additionally, the Bruins were given a brutal March schedule, which included 15 games in 24 days. With what seemed like an exhausted Bruins team, Boston dealt with three strange losses against the basement-dwelling Chicago Blackhawks and the struggling Detroit Red Wings. While bounce-back wins against top cuts of the Central Division Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild bode well for them, the question is sustainability.
The Boston Bruins have a 54-11-5 record, as the best team in the NHL.