The Boston Bruins: A Brief Look at Where They’re At

Boston Bruins

No fan of the Boston Bruins NHL team can fail to be delighted by the position they find themselves in as the season progresses towards its exciting climax.

Standing at the very head of the Atlantic Division they have a clear, and almost unassailable, lead over their nearest rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That’s not to say that it’s all been plain sailing so far. Late January 2023 saw them experiencing something of a wobble with losses to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes.

But a convincing 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on February 2nd suggests that normal service has been resumed.

So confidence is definitely riding high, as is reflected in the NHL odds that this could be another year when the Bruins are seriously in contention for the highly-prized Stanley Cup.

All you need to know about The Boston Bruins

A little bit of history

If they do make it through to the Final, it will be their 21st appearance. And, if they emerge victorious, it will be their seventh win in nearly a century of existence.

Nearly a century because 2024 will see the hundredth birthday of the team who are the third oldest still active in the league and the oldest of all the US-based teams.

The team’s very first owner was the grocery magnate Charles Adams who bought the franchise as soon as it became available. He quickly hired the superstar player Art Ross as coach and it was Ross who invented the name the Bruins.

To tie in with the nickname for brown bears it was decided that the team’s uniform colors should be brown with yellow. These also happened to be the brand colors of the Adams grocery store chain.

Over the years, the team has enjoyed great periods of success and has been Division champions no less than 26 times.

The 1970s were a particularly golden period for the team winning virtually back-to-back championships. In recent years, their success has been a little more sporadic with their last Stanley Cup victory coming in 2011, although they were runners-up to the St Louis Blues in 2019, losing 3-4 in a very closely-fought game.

Today’s star players

Since he was hired as a replacement for previous coach Bruce Cassidy, Jim Montgomery has slowly and surely put together a winning team.

Four of the most talented of these are undoubtedly the veteran 37-year-old Patrice Bergeron, left wing, Brad Marchand, even older at 43, defenseman Charlie McAvoy and right wing David Pastrnak.

Marchand is particularly valuable to the team being consistently the highest points scorer. Fortunately, following hip surgery in the off-season, he seems to be back and on top form with 16 goals and 46 points to his name by early February.

Montgomery has also got many younger players coming through who show great promise for the future. Among them, there is right-wing Fabien Lysell. A first-round pick in the 2020 draft, he is exceptionally fast on the ice and has a powerful shot with pinpoint accuracy. So great things are expected of him.

Equally exciting is defenseman Mason Lohrei. At 6 foot 4 inches and 205 pounds, he certainly takes some getting around for the opposition. He’s also proving to be not bad at scoring and assisting too.

Montgomery is also lucky that moving toward the end of the season, his squad remains relatively injury-free. The only notable exceptions are left wing Jake DeBrusk with a lower-body issue and center Tomas Nosek with a damaged foot.

Montgomery’s style

The Bruins once had quite a reputation for a style of play that was rough and ready, designed to win by intimidation. Luckily for the opposition, this has mellowed over the years and the arrival of Montgomery saw another change.

He has introduced a far faster pace of play so the Bruins’ style can surprise other teams before they realize what exactly is happening. It’s a style that other teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning have used with great success in previous years – and it’s certainly working for the Bruins.

It’s been helped by the fact that he’s described as being a “player’s coach” in that he knows which buttons to press to get the very best out of individuals. Part of this is his dispensing of tough love – and it certainly seems to work.

Now all he needs to do is keep the pressure on the team to see them through to the end of the season.

They undoubtedly still have some challenging fixtures ahead of them. But there’s a real feeling that this could be the year when the team rises to true greatness again. And there are very many Bruins fans who are hoping that this really will be the case.