Boston Bruins training camp opens this week. With the Captain’s practice already started and rookies reporting to camp on September 14. It’s time to get excited about the upcoming season.
The Bruins enter the season with some changes to their team. After firing Bruce Cassidy following a first-round playoff exit, Bruins brass hired Jim Montgomery as their new head coach. Boston also made a trio of signings in early August. David Krejci returned to Boston after spending last season overseas. Captain Patrice Bergeron opted to re-sign on a one-year deal. Pavel Zacha, whose rights were acquired from the New Jersey Devils also signed with the club.
Boston has injuries to star winger Brad Marchand, stalwart defenceman Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzylyck. With all of this taken into consideration here are five Boston Bruins predictions for the 2022-23 season.
Five Boston Bruins Predictions for the 2022-23 Season
Jake Debrusk Scores 30 Goals
This one isn’t a huge shocker and is the most likely Boston Bruins prediction on this list to occur. Debrusk has been close to 30 goals a couple of times in his career. In 2018-19 Debrusk scored 27 goals in 68 games. Last season he scored 25, with much of his scoring coming in the second half after being promoted to the Bruin first line.
Debrusk recently returned to Boston where he caught up with reporters. He discussed coming back to Boston for a sixth season. He seems to be in a good frame of mind having his heavily publicized trade request rescinded and put behind him.
Debrusk may have had a rocky relationship with former head coach Cassidy. Starting with a clean slate under Montgomery will be good for the speedy winger. Montgomery has already stated that he plans to keep Debrusk alongside Bergeron on the top line. “I think with the development of Jake DeBrusk last year and how well he played with Bergy and (Brad Marchand), naturally you see the other line being a fit to give us a two-headed monster in our top two lines,” Montgomery told Stephen Conroy of the Boston Herald.
After his promotion to the top line in February, Debrusk scored 16 goals in 32 games playing on Bergeron’s wing. With a goal production of 0.5 Goals-per game it’s without a doubt he will set career-high marks this season.
Taylor Hall Returns to Hart Trophy Form
Back in 2017-18, Taylor Hall had a monster season for the New Jersey Devils. One could say that he single-handedly dragged the Devils into the playoffs that season. He scored 39 goals and 54 assists for a career-high 93-point season. He took home the Hart Trophy that season. However, he hasn’t been able to replicate that kind of production ever since.
Following the Hart trophy season with the Devils, Hall bounced around going to the Arizona Coyotes before signing with the Buffalo Sabres. Boston acquired Hall from the Sabres at the trade deadline in the 2020-21 season.
Upon Hall’s arrival in Boston, he found instant chemistry with Krejci posting 14 points in 16 regular season games played together. Last season, with Krejci out of the fold, Hall played on a line with David Pastrnak on the opposite wing and Eric Haula as their center. Hall and Pastrnak exhibited some great chemistry together. In total, Hall put up 61 points last season, his highest total since winning the Hart.
Early indications are that the second line will be Krejci in the middle with Hall and Pastrnak on the wings. If this is the case expect Taylor Hall’s numbers to improve from last season’s total.
Mark it down as the next Boston Bruins prediction Hall will put up 75-80 points this year.
David Pastrnak Scores 50 Goals
Much like Taylor Hall, Pastrnak will greatly benefit from having his fellow countrymen Krejci back wearing the spoked “B”. The two Czechs showed off their immense chemistry with one another at the World Championships last spring. Boston Bruins prediction three is that Pastrnak hits the 50-goal plateau for the first time.
Pastrnak has flirted with 50 in the past, he notched 48 goals in 2019-20. His 48 that season gave him a share of the Maurice Rocket Richard trophy as the league leader in goals scored. He got off to a slow start last season however, still managed to light the lamp 40 times.
Playing a full season together with Hall and Krejci, Pastrnak will excel. The line could even be seen as their top line with Marchand starting the season on injured reserve. From there, if the offence dries up, coach Montgomery can re-unite the “perfection” line of Pastrnak, Bergeron and Marchand. Montgomery should also give Boston a more threatening powerplay than last season. He has generally coached teams to successful power plays. Pasta will reap the benefits and notch around 20 PPG.
Bruins Goalies Win Jennings Trophy
That’s right mark it down! Boston Bruins prediction number four is that the Bruins goaltending tandem allows the fewest goals in the league to win the William Jennings trophy.
While Jeremy Swayman looks primed to become the Bruins legitimate number one goaltender, but expect the tandem to split the workload. After Swayman replaced Linus Ullmark, in last season’s playoffs, he never looked back. The two goalies seem to push each other to be better night in and night out. Ullmark is in a particularly peculiar position. He is being paid $5 million a year. Don Sweeney likely won’t like to see his big investment in Ullmark become strictly a backup goaltender. Expect a fairly even split between the two.
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The Duo ranked fourth in Goal Against totals last season. Expect the Bruins to climb higher in the goal against rankings under their new album head coach. Montgomery-coached teams typically are amongst league leaders in goals against.
Boston Bruins Clinch Playoff Spot
The last Boston Bruins prediction is that the club will clinch their 7th consecutive playoff berth. Despite the early injuries and adjustments to the new head coach’s systems Boston will find themselves playing hockey when it matters most. Look for the Bruins to battle for the 2nd spot in the toughest division in all of hockey.
Tampa Bay should finally show some regression losing Ryan McDonagh and Ondrej Palat amongst others. It could be said that the Florida Panthers are actually a worse hockey club than they were last year. The Panthers defensive depth took a hit in the blockbuster trade with Calgary. The Maple Leafs success will be determined largely by the play of their goalies Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov. Ottawa has added some stellar offensive talent including Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat. Detroit also added through free agency making their team more competitive.
With all the roster changes through the division, it’s wide open as far as who will take home the Atlantic division. Boston will make a push for home ice during the first round of playoff action.
All stats from this article are provided by www.hockey-reference.com
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