Chasing history in Boston: The numbers behind the Bruins’ wild 2022-23 season

NHL

The Boston Bruins entered the 2022-23 NHL season with modest expectations. The team amassed 107 points last season, before bowing out in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. During the summer, the Bruins fired head coach Bruce Cassidy and replaced him with Jim Montgomery. Caesars Sportsbook gave them 25-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, and we ranked them 14th in our preseason Power Rankings.

Then the season began, and the Bruins have been authoring one of the greatest regular seasons in the modern, salary cap era (since 2005-06).

Through 46 games, the Bruins have skated to a 37-5-4 record, good for 78 points and an .848 points percentage. Follow along here as the B’s chase down NHL history, and watch them live in six exclusive games on ABC, ESPN+ and Hulu, along with other games available to out-of-market viewers on NHL Power Play on ESPN+, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription.

Wins: 37

Through 46 games, the Bruins are on pace for 66 wins by season’s end. The current record for most wins in a season (62) was set in 1995-96 by the Detroit Red Wings (who finished 62-13-7), and tied in 2018-19 by the Tampa Bay Lightning (62-16-4). Neither team won the Stanley Cup in its respective record-setting season, as the Red Wings lost to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference finals, and the Lightning were swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Points: 78

Boston is on pace for 139 points this season. This would shatter the current record for points in a season held by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens (60-8-12), who set that mark in an 80-game season. The Canadiens won the Cup that season — over the Bruins.

Goal differential: +81

Goal differential is not an easily projectable stat for a number of reasons. But if we took the Bruins’ current differential — which is best in the league by 38 goals — and extrapolated that out to 82 games, they’d finish at plus-144. That’s a number that would blow by anything in the salary cap era, but would be tied for seventh in league history. The 1976-77 Canadiens are atop the board, at plus-216.

Team save percentage: .932

Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman are one of the NHL’s best goaltending duos, and along with a 30-of-31 game by Keith Kinkaid, the group has generated the league’s best team save percentage, ahead of the Dallas Stars at .921. Though not an official league record, the best mark for a team in a single season is .934, set by the 1968-69 St. Louis Blues.

Goals against per game: 2.02

All of those saves have resulted in not many goals for Bruins opponents. Their mark of 2.02 goals against per game is well ahead of second place Dallas (2.54) and a batch of teams between 2.61 and 2.63. The post-1967 expansion record for lowest goals-against average in a season is 1.89, held by the 2011-12 Blues.

David Pastrnak

The 26-year-old winger is second in the NHL with 36 goals, and fourth with 65 points, on pace for 64 and 116 respectively. Those totals don’t approach all-time NHL records, but if he hits that goal mark, it would be the fourth-most goals in a season by a Bruin, breaking Phil Esposito’s clean sweep of the top five goal-scoring seasons in B’s history.

Linus Ullmark

By notching his 25th win of the season in his 28th game, Ullmark broke the NHL record for fewest number of games to reach that victory benchmark. He leads the league in goals-against average (1.82) and save percentage (.938). The single-season NHL record for wins (48, by Braden Holtby in 2015-16) is in play. The modern-era record for GAA is 1.56 (Brian Elliott, 2011-12) and for save percentage is .940 (also by Elliott in 2011-12).


Bruins’ upcoming games

Note: All games not on ESPN, TNT or NHL Network are available via NHL Power Play, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription (local blackout restrictions apply).

Jan. 24: @ Montreal Canadiens
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Jan. 26: @ Tampa Bay Lightning
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Jan. 28: @ Florida Panthers
6 ET | NHL Network

Jan. 29: @ Carolina Hurricanes
5 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 1: @ Toronto Maple Leafs
7:30 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 11: vs. Washington Capitals
3:30 ET | ABC, ESPN+

Feb. 14: @ Dallas Stars
8:30 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 16: @ Nashville Predators
8 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 18: vs. New York Islanders
5 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 20: vs. Ottawa Senators
1 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 23: @ Seattle Kraken
10 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 25: @ Vancouver Canucks
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 27: @ Edmonton Oilers
8:30 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Feb. 28: @ Calgary Flames
9 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 2: vs. Buffalo Sabres
7:30 ET | ESPN+, Hulu

March 4: vs. New York Rangers
1 ET | ABC, ESPN+

March 9: vs. Edmonton Oilers
7:30 | ESPN+, Hulu

March 11: vs. Detroit Red Wings
1 ET | ABC, ESPN+

March 12: @ Detroit Red Wings
1:30 | TNT

March 14: @ Chicago Blackhawks
8:30 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 16: @ Winnipeg Jets
8 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 18: @ Minnesota Wild
2 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 19: @ Buffalo Sabres
1 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 21: vs. Ottawa Senators
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 23: vs. Montreal Canadiens
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 25: vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
1 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 26: @ Carolina Hurricanes
5 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

March 28: vs. Nashville Predators
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

April 1: @ Pittsburgh Penguins
3 ET | ABC, ESPN+

April 2: @ St. Louis Blues
3:30 ET | TNT

April 6: vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

April 8: vs. New Jersey Devils
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

April 9: @ Philadelphia Flyers
6 ET | TNT

April 11: vs. Washington Capitals
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

April 13: @ Montreal Canadiens
7 ET | NHL Power Play on ESPN+

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