Bruins Getting Full Team Effort Amid Hot Start

The Boston Bruins have been having a lot of fun to begin the 2022-23 NHL season. While putting together the best start to a season in the history of the franchise, the Bruins have found a way to click at every turn despite overcoming injuries early that could have easily forced the Bruins to play from behind the eight ball.

Jim Montgomery Boston Bruins head coach
Jim Montgomery has led the Boston Bruins to the NHL’s best record through the team’s first 15 games of the 2022-23 season. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Starting the season without Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk, most notably, the Bruins were dealt a bad starting hand. Compounding this, the Bruins were also starting the season with a new head coach in Jim Montgomery. Despite this, the Bruins were finding ways to win while their star players worked towards getting healthy. Bit by bit and piece by piece, these players found their way back to the lineup and the Bruins just continued to operate like a well-oiled machine.

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What’s most impressive about this season has been the well-rounded nature of the Bruins’ success. Losing just two games through their first 15 contests, the Bruins have been electric through the first 18% of the season. The Bruins rank first in goals (60), goals-per-game (3.93), goals-against-per-game (2.2), and penalty kill (94.4%). The only team to allow fewer goals than the Bruins (33) is the Winnipeg Jets (31), though the latter has also played in two fewer games.

The Bruins also rank highly in just about every other category in the NHL as well, including shots on goal (6th), power play percentage (9th), shooting percentage (3rd), faceoff percentage (2nd) and shots on goal allowed (10th). The team also hasn’t lost a game at home, starting a perfect 8-0-0.

Related: 3 Bruins Benefitting From Jim Montgomery’s System

This doesn’t even begin to mention the excellence of the Bruins’ goaltenders, most notably Linus Ullmark who has been seemingly unbeatable this season. Starting the season 10-1-0, Ullmark leads the league in wins, save percentage (.939), is second in goals against average (1.95) and third in goals saved above average (10.30). His dominance has been as important as anybody else’s contribnutions for the Bruins.

Bruins Firing on All Cylinders

The team has gotten production up and down their lineup and the players have put everything on the line for one another. The culture built in the locker room cannot be understated and a huge part of that must be attributed to team captain Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and the leaders that have left their mark in recent seasons.

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have been crucial to the Bruins’ strong team culture in recent seasons; a trend that can be attributed back to Zdeno Chara’s tenure as captain of the team. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There is still a lot of hockey left to be played and the Bruins can’t get too comfortable after playing less than 20% of the season. In fact, the Bruins would be wise to listen to this quote from Bill Belichick from 2015 after the New England Patriots started the season 3-0 (18.75% of a 16-game season compared to the Bruins 15 games, or 18.29% of an 82-game season):

“It’s nice to be 3-0, but, I mean, big deal,” said Belichick. “Three wins isn’t going to get you anything in this league, I’ll tell you that. Probably just get a lot of coaches fired. And then the players will go right behind them…It’s not a big deal.”

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The message is clear; the Bruins may be 13-2-0 to start the season, but past success will only take this team so far. Winning only 13 games would be one of the worst marks in NHL history and nothing is guaranteed in the future. This team will undoubtedly have its fair share of struggles this season, and starting the season with such dominance is very impressive. The Bruins, however, cannot get complacent or buy into their own hype. They’ll need to continue playing hard, smart, and winning hockey; otherwise, this hot start will be nothing but a distant memory.

So far, the team hasn’t given any reason to believe they’re on track to slow down any time soon. The season will have its ebbs and flows, but this team should be able to manage these shifts and continue to succeed all season long. The team, the fanbase and everyone in between has had a great time thanks to this Bruins’ start, and all parties involved will hope for the good times to keep on rolling.