The 2022-23 National Hockey League (NHL) season began on October 17, 2022, and draws to a thrilling conclusion in June 2023 with the crowning of the Stanley Cup champions. The Stanley Cup is professional ice hockey’s most prestigious prize. There have been 106 Stanley Cups won, but only 25 teams have lifted the famous trophy aloft, including the Boston Bruins.
Boston Bruins fans have seen their beloved team navigate to the Stanley Cup 20 times. Only the Toronto Maple Leafs (21), Detroit Red Wings (24), and Montreal Canadiens (35) have appeared in the Stanley Cup more times than the Bruins. However, the Bruins have returned home as the runners-up in 14 of those games and have not become NHL’s champions since the 2010-11 season. This year, everything points not only toward the Bruins reaching the Stanley Cup finals once again but to get their hands on the winner’s trophy and get to call themselves hockey champions for at least the next 12 months.
The Boston Bruins are the clear favorites with mytopsportsbooks.com to become the 2023 Stanley Cup champions, and it is easy to say why. Through 77 of a scheduled 82 regular season games, the Bruins hold a 60-12-5 record, meaning they have only lost 17 games so far and have amassed a league-best 125 points. The Bruins score goals for fun (286 at the time of writing) and have a watertight defense (166 goals allowed). Only the Edmonton Oilers (303) have had the puck in the back of the net more times than the Bruins, and no other team’s defense is within 30 goals allowed. An unstoppable offense combined with a stingy defense is usually the perfect combination to become a champion in your field.
The Record-Breaking Bruins
The current Boston Bruins team broke the long-standing NHL record for games taken to reach 100 points. It took head coach Jim Montgomery’s team only 61 games to reach three-figures worth of points, beating the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens by a single game. They also only took 64 games to record their 50th victory of the regular season, another NHL record. There are few, if any, NHL teams that have it in them to stop the Bruins charging toward what will be their seventh Stanley Cup title.
Right winger David Pastrnak is one of the main reasons for the Bruins’ incredible offense. The 26-year-old Czech Republic native scored 40 goals and assisted 37 more for 77 points in 72 games last season. This campaign has seen Pastrnak rack up 56 goals, 47 assists, and 103 points through 77 fixtures. It is no wonder the Bruins tied Pastrnak to an eight-year $90 million contract in March 2023.
It is not only Pastrnak banging in the goals because 11 other Bruins players are into double-figures for goals scored. They include Patrice Bergeron (27 goals and 30 assists) and Brad Marchand (20 goals and 43 assists).
At the other end of the rink, goaltenders Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have been in exceptional form throughout the regular season. Ullmark has faced 1,406 shots and saved 1,318 (93.7% ), allowing only 88 goals for 1.90 goals against average. Swayman’s form is also impressive, with 776 saves from 844 shots against (91.9%) and 68 goals against for an average of 2.24 per game.
Who Will Win the Stanley Cup if Not the Bruins?
It would take a brave or silly person to choose a team other than the Bruins to become the 2023 Stanley Cup champions, despite some elite-level teams heading for the playoffs. You should not write off the chances of reigning champions Colorado Avalanche or teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the Bruins look too strong in all departments. It will take the mother of all capitulations to stop a seventh Stanley Cup heading to the state of Boston.
Factors Working Against the Boston Bruins
While the Boston Bruins have a strong team with a successful history in the NHL, there are still several factors working against them in their pursuit of a seventh Stanley Cup. These factors range from injuries to a lack of depth in certain positions, and even potential issues with team chemistry.
One of the most significant factors working against the Boston Bruins is injuries. This season, they have already faced injuries to key players like Charlie McAvoy, Brad Marchand, and Tuukka Rask. These injuries can have a significant impact on the team’s performance, especially when it comes to important games like playoff matches.
Lack of Depth
Another factor that may hinder the Boston Bruins’ chances of winning the Stanley Cup is a lack of depth in certain positions. For example, while they have a strong first line, their secondary lines may not be as strong, which could lead to fatigue or overuse of key players. Additionally, the Bruins have limited options for backup goalies, which can be a significant issue if Tuukka Rask is out for an extended period.
Potential Team Chemistry Issues
Finally, there are potential issues with team chemistry that could impact the Bruins’ performance. This season, there have been rumors of disagreements among the team, which can create a negative atmosphere and affect player morale. This could impact the team’s ability to work together effectively on the ice, leading to missed opportunities and losses.
Overall, while the Boston Bruins have a strong team with a successful history, there are still factors working against them that could hinder their chances of winning a seventh Stanley Cup.
Potential Challengers to the Boston Bruins
While the Boston Bruins are a strong team, there are several potential challengers who could stop their charge for a seventh Stanley Cup. These challengers come in the form of other NHL teams who are also vying for the coveted trophy.
Tampa Bay Lightning
One of the biggest challengers to the Boston Bruins is the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning are the reigning Stanley Cup champions and have a strong team with key players like Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman. They also have a solid defensive core and a reliable goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are another team that could pose a challenge to the Boston Bruins. Led by Auston Matthews, the Maple Leafs have a strong offensive presence and are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league. While they have struggled in the playoffs in recent years, they still have the potential to cause an upset.
The Washington Capitals are a team with a wealth of playoff experience and have won the Stanley Cup before. Led by Alexander Ovechkin, the Capitals have a strong offensive presence and a solid defensive core. They also have a reliable goaltender in Ilya Samsonov, who has been playing well this season.