Boston Bruins are New England’s last hope for a title this year

Boston Bruins left wing Nick Foligno (17) Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Bruins left wing Nick Foligno (17) Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

After the Boston Bruins choppy start to the season, full of COVID-19 and weeklong layoffs, the B’s are rolling. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

With the New England Patriots season having ended with a thud against the Buffalo Bills, the Boston Celtics consistently leaving fans frustrated, and the Boston Red Sox in a lockout, the Bruins are just about the only show in town these days.

But they aren’t Boston’s last hope simply by elimination. In a city familiar with winning, this team is a true threat, one that Boston should be legitimately excited about.

The Boston Bruins are playing like a team on a mission

Since turning the calendar to 2022, the B’s are 10-2-0, and are making Bruce Cassidy look like a genius for finally splitting up The Perfection Line for more than two games. After scoring only eight goals in 26 games on the top line, David Pastrnak has exploded for 11 goals in 12 games playing next to Taylor Hall in 2022.

And those games haven’t been against tomato cans either, as the Bruins have taken down the Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, and Washington Capitals (twice) in the new year. Those are some of the best teams in the league, and the 2022 Bruins have set them all aside with relative ease.

Boston Bruins schedule has put them into a rhythm

When their most recent COVID outbreak put the team into a two-week break after their December 16th loss to the New York Islanders, the Bruins were in a slump. They had lost four of six and seemed to have lost their identity.

That all changed when they finally got back on the ice against the Buffalo Sabres on January 1st. In order to make up all their games in hand, they’ve had to play just about every other night, and that has allowed the team to finally get into a rhythm. The results have been outstanding, and the B’s have created a cushion between them and the teams below them in the Wild Card standings.

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After averaging just 2.8 goals per game as a team in 2021, the B’s are potting an even 4.0 goals per game this year. Is that sustainable? Maybe not, but they certainly look like a different offensive team now than they did two months ago.

And that isn’t just because of the shuffling of the top two lines. There’s a case to be made that the Bruins third line of Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk and Oskar Steen might actually be their hottest line right now. So much so that both Bruins management and DeBrusk himself may be rethinking his November trade request. At the very least, the Canadian left wing’s recent play has improved any possible trade return, with the team squarely in win now mode.

Boston Bruins need to make a splash at the deadline

It’s no secret that the Bruins stars are getting old, with both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand in their mid-thirties. And we all know that the B’s are trying to squeeze every last drop out of this window, because the future doesn’t look particularly bright.

That’s why Tuukka Rask is back with the team, after it appeared like his time in Boston was over. Even though he’s struggled so far, and clearly could have used some tune-up games in Providence if not for those games getting cancelled too, he should raise the ceiling of this team. He’s not what he used to be, but he’s been there before and knows how to play down the stretch.

Things are about to heat up for the B's. dark. Next

And that’s why Don Sweeney needs to add to this group before the trade deadline, which is still somehow two months away. This team might be just a second line center (Claude Giroux, anyone?) and a left shot defenseman from reaching the league’s upper tier. With their championship window tightening year by year, there’s no excuse to not go all in.

So here we go, New England. It’s time to pay attention to the 2022 Boston Bruins, our last hope of winning a title this year.