Yes, the Boston Bruins will win the 2018 Stanley Cup

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11: Adam McQuaid
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11: Adam McQuaid /

The Boston Bruins will find a way to become the top seed in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, they’ll march to the Stanley Cup Finals, and win it all.

Right now, the Boston Bruins are the hottest team in the NHL. They sit in second place behind the Tampa Bay Lightning by just 3 points, with a game in hand.

Boston will catch up to Tampa Bay, and they’ll pass them before the season is over. The Bruins are playing their best hockey, and lately, it never seems like they are out of a game. Boston continued their winning ways on Sunday with a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on the road. That’s a team they could see in the first round of the NHL Playoffs, and it would likely be an easy win.

The B’s have tons of players all over the NHL statistical leaderboards, but they are also extremely balanced. They seem to have what it takes to make a run at a championship.

Bruins in the leaderboards (NHL Rank)

  • Patrice Bergeron, 25 Goals (12th)
  • Brad Marchand, 53 Points (T-20th)
  • Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, 0.51 Goals Per Game (T-6th)
  • Brad Marchand, 0.78 Assists Per Game (T-8th)
  • Brad Marchand, 1.29 Points Per Game (1st)
  • Tuukka Rask, 22 Wins (T-10th)
  • Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, .924 Save % (T-6th)
  • Tuukka Rask, 2.11 Goals Against Average (3rd)
  • Anton Khudobin, 2.32 Goals Against Average (8th)
  • Zdeno Chara, 4.4 Defensive Point Shares (2nd)
  • Charlie McAvoy, 3.7 Defensive Point Shares (T-9th)

The Boston Bruins have clear leaders, but they are extremely balanced. Of course, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are the best options for Boston on offense, while Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy have been holding things down on defense.

Marchand is all over the NHL leaderboards at this point, in the top 10 in numerous categories and putting up great numbers. If he hadn’t missed as many games as he has, Marchand would probably be the NHL points leader, as evidenced by his league-best 1.29 points per game. When he is on the ice for the B’s, they have a legitimate chance to score a ton.

Boston’s goaltending has also been tremendous this season. Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin have stepped up, and they are the best goaltending tandem in the NHL. The Bruins are the only team to have both goaltenders in the top 10 in save percentage and goals-against average. Khudobin is actually outperforming a number of starters across the league, including Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck and LA’s Jonathan Quick.

With such stout defense, tough goaltending, and players that can score at will, the Boston Bruins have to be a favorite to raise the 2018 Stanley Cup. There are teams that will threaten that, and plenty of teams will earn wins over Boston, but when push comes to shove, it seems like the Bruins have what it takes to win each and every series in the playoffs.

Possible Playoff Opponents (Wild Card points back)

There is still plenty that can happen before the season ends, and standings will certainly shift around. As things sit right now, these are the teams with a possibility to play Boston in the first round of the NHL Playoffs. If the Bruins get up to the #1 spot in the Atlantic ahead of Tampa Bay, they will play the lowest Wild Card seed, which currently is the Carolina Hurricanes. If they stay at #2 in their division, they would play the #3 team in the Atlantic, the Toronto Maple Leafs. There are quite a few teams though that are within reach of that final Wild Card spot.

Detroit Red Wings (-8)

  • Dec. 13, 2017: Boston 3 @ Detroit 2 (OT)
  • Dec. 23, 2017: Detroit 1 @ Boston 3
  • Feb. 6, 2018: Boston 3 @ Detroit 2
  • Mar. 6, 2018: Detroit @ Boston

New York Rangers (-2)

  • Nov. 8, 2017: Boston 2 @ New York 4
  • Dec. 16, 2017: New York 3 @ Boston 2 (OT)
  • Feb. 7, 2018: Boston 6 @ New York 1

New York Islanders (-1)

  • Dec. 9, 2017: New York 1 @ Boston 3
  • Jan. 2, 2018: Boston 5 @ New York 1
  • Jan. 18, 2018: Boston 5 @ New York 2

Columbus Blue Jackets (-1)

  • Oct. 30, 2017: Boston 3 @ Columbus 4 (SO)
  • Dec. 18, 2017: Columbus 2 @ Boston 7
  • Mar. 19, 2018: Columbus @ Boston

More from Chowder and Champions

Carolina Hurricanes (-)

  • Jan. 6, 2018: Carolina 1 @ Boston 7
  • Feb. 27, 2018: Carolina @ Boston
  • Mar. 13, 2018: Boston @ Carolina

New Jersey Devils (-)

  • Nov. 22, 2017: Boston 3 @ New Jersey 2 (SO)
  • Jan. 23, 2018: New Jersey 2 @ Boston 3
  • Feb. 11, 2018: Boston 5 @ New Jersey 3

Toronto Maple Leafs (3rd in Atlantic)

  • Nov. 10, 2017: Boston 2 @ Toronto 3 (OT)
  • Nov. 11, 2017: Toronto 4 @ Boston 1
  • Feb. 3, 2018: Toronto 1 @ Boston 4
  • Feb. 24, 2018: Boston @ Toronto

Boston will likely end up facing the Carolina Hurricanes or the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. They should be able to win that series with ease no matter who the opponent is. Of course, things get tougher the deeper they progress in the playoffs with the Lightning, Penguins, and Capitals all in the Eastern Conference. Boston looks like a team that has what it takes though, and like 2011 and 2013 they could find themselves in the Stanley Cup Finals. In the Western Conference, the Vegas Golden Knights are a surprising top seed. They’re followed by the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, and St. Louis Blues. Realistically, most expect Vegas to falter before or during the playoffs. They simply don’t have what it takes to win in the playoffs yet. Nashville, Winnipeg, or St. Louis is a more likely representative for the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals, and they’d all be worthy opponents for Boston.

Next: Chara defying time in 2018

For now, though, Boston Bruins fans should sit back and enjoy the ride. With the Patriots season over, and the Red Sox yet to begin, fans should have plenty of time for the black and gold. They are playing amazing hockey and they will be a true contender in the NHL Playoffs. Don’t wait until the playoffs begin to start watching this squad. They’re a ton of fun and you don’t want to miss what they can do on a sheet of ice.