3 Bruins Hot Takes for 2022-23 Season

The Boston Bruins are heading into the 2022-23 season with some lingering questions. Some believe that their Stanley Cup window is still open, while others think that their chances of winning are nonexistent. Yet, for the former to still be true, the Bruins will need some of their top players to take their games to the next level this upcoming campaign. As a result of this, let’s take a look at three hot takes I have for the Bruins for 2022-23 and why they truly could come to fruition.

Jeremy Swayman Becomes Top-Five Goaltender Next Season

Jeremy Swayman put together a very promising year during his first full NHL season in 2021-22. In 41 games, he sported a 23-14-3 record, 2.41 goals-against average (GAA), and .914 save percentage (SV%). After a season like that, the 23-year-old certainly helped lessen the sting of Tuukka Rask retiring. With that, he ended the season as the team’s starting netminder over Linus Ullmark during the playoffs. Although the Bruins would fall to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games, Swayman was solid, as his 3-2 record and 2.63 GAA show effectively. Perhaps if he was the starter from the beginning, Boston would have won the series and made a playoff run.

Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins
Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Now, with Swayman getting ready for his second full NHL season, I have higher expectations for the Alaskan native. During this past season, he showed signs of excellence. For example, back in March, he was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month and had a 1.95 GAA and .929 SV% in his first 24 appearances. Those kinds of numbers are extremely impressive, and as he continues to gain more experience, I believe he will be able to replicate them over a full 82-game schedule.

With all of this, I am predicting that Swayman will take that next step and become a top-five goaltender in the NHL this upcoming season. When he’s on his game, he can be completely dominant, and the Bruins need that to maintain their status as contenders. It’s now just a matter of him remaining consistent because the talent is there from the young goaltender.

Taylor Hall Will Have Best Year Since MVP Season

I’m very excited to see what Taylor Hall will do this season for the Bruins. With David Krejci returning to the team, we are very likely going to see the duo reunite on the second line. This should be extremely beneficial for Hall, as he was lethal with Krejci when he was first traded to the Bruins in 2020-21. In 16 regular-season games following the move, he scored eight goals and recorded 14 points. Now, if the Bruins add David Pastrnak to that line, too, it has the chance to be the best second line in all of hockey.

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Because of all of this, I am expecting Hall to have his best year since he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the 2017-18 season. Since his outstanding 93-point campaign in 76 games with the New Jersey Devils, he has never played a full season with an impactful playmaker. The Devils, Coyotes, and Buffalo Sabres lacked any true star power, but Hall will now have the chance to be a part of a potentially dominant trio. Although Hall had a solid 61 points in 81 games last season, I think he is capable of producing more this upcoming season.

I’m very excited to see what Hall, Krejci, and Pastrnak do together if head coach Jim Montgomery makes them a line. Yet, with how well Hall has connected with Krejci and Pastrnak previously, it would be surprising if Montgomery doesn’t give this line a chance.

David Pastrnak Records First 50-Goal Season

Speaking of Pastrnak, I think he will put together the best season of his already-excellent career. As stated above, the 2014 first-round pick could be part of an outstanding line with Krejci and Hall. Yet, even if Montgomery decides to reunite the “Perfection Line” with him, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand (once he returns from injury), I think this will finally be the year that Pastrnak hits the 50-goal plateau.

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Before the NHL had to shut down the 2019-20 season due to the pandemic, Pastrnak was well on his way to his first 50-goal season. In 70 games, he tied Alex Ovechkin for the league lead with 48 goals and won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy because of it. Had the season not ended early, he would have had no trouble scoring two more by the end of the year. Thus, he is easily capable of being a 50-goal scorer, and with this season being a contract year, he has more to play for. If he scores 50 goals this campaign, it could be what helps land him an average annual value (AAV) of over $10 million on his next deal.

Pastrnak has all the scoring ability to put up 50 goals in a season, and I believe the 2022-23 season will finally be the year he gets it done. That certainly would benefit the Bruins when looking at all of the injuries they have to start the year.

Nevertheless, it will be fun to see if any of these hot takes come to fruition this year for the Bruins. Swayman, Hall, and Pastrnak each have the potential to have themselves big seasons, and I have full confidence that they will. It could be exactly what helps the Bruins make one last push for the Stanley Cup during their current window.

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