Boston Bruins have turned into an absolute wagon in the NHL!

Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images) /

Somehow, someway, the Boston Bruins are doing it. And by it, I mean just casually turning into the best team in the league out of absolutely nowhere, dominating night in and night out. Just as we all expected, right?

Obviously, none of us saw this coming. We expected a team with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy to find a way to get into the playoffs. Maybe the most optimistic of us hoped this group could contend for home ice in the first round, or even the division title.

But THIS? Nobody expected this. The Vegas sportsbooks, which are very good at predicting these things, had the Bruins around +2000 to lift the Stanley Cup before the season started. That put them just about squarely in the middle of the league. A playoff participant, nothing more. They’re now favorites at something between +500 and +600.

How did the Boston Bruins resurrect their title window?

To be perfectly honest, I’m stunned. It’s unfathomable that the same core that bowed out in the first round last year is all of a sudden a wrecking ball running through the NHL. To get here, everything since that moment had to go perfectly, and it did.

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First off, Don Sweeney deserves credit for this. After years of questionable (at best) management decisions, he was not expected to be back this year. But somehow, he has nailed the past few months, with the exception being the completely boneheaded Mitchell Miller signing.

From the trade with New Jersey to acquire Pavel Zacha, to the move I questioned most, bringing back David Krejci after his year abroad, he’s nailed it. So props to him for that.

But most importantly, the team’s stars have been stars. David Pastrnak, still without a contract extension, is lighting the lamp prolifically, on track to score more than 50 goals this year. Linus Ullmark is 17-1, is giving up 1.83 goals per game, and is the unquestioned leader for the Vezina Trophy right now. Old reliable, Captain Patrice Bergeron is second in the league in faceoff win percentage and is providing rockstar leadership.

Boston Bruins showing championship qualities

For a team with a 23-4-1 record, these B’s have already had to overcome quite a bit. They started the year without two of their top four players in McAvoy and Marchand. Despite that, they were 7-1 before Marchand returned and 11-2 without McAvoy.

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Then, they had to overcome management’s best attempts to pull the rug out from underneath them by signing Mitchell Miller, which was just downright stupid. Absolutely no reason for it whatsoever. So what did the Bruins locker room do? They spoke out against it and kept on rolling.

And then, their first bit of adversity on the ice. A tough shootout loss to ex-boss Bruce Cassidy’s Las Vegas Golden Knights, which ended Boston’s home winning streak at 14. A few days later, a confusing loss to the awful Arizona Coyotes with 13 seconds left on the clock.

So how did they respond? They marched into Vegas and took down the Golden Knights on their home ice, before returning home and pulling out a win in what the team described later as a “scheduled loss”, a game they were expecting to lose after all their travel. Now that is resiliency and fighting in the face of adversity.

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Boston Bruins need to keep foot on the gas

After last year, the enormous strides this team has taken are truly incredible. Their championship window had slammed shut in Game 7 in Raleigh, but all of a sudden it is wide open again. But the B’s can’t relax, not even close, because as great as they have been there are several teams managing to stay in striking distance. And so, it has to be full steam ahead. This team has shown they have what it takes to win, now they have to keep it up, because they’re a wagon.