Are Bruins For Real? NHL Writer Determines Boston’s Stanley Cup Hopes

Don't worry Boston fans, you're not overreacting

by

November 23

Heading into their Wednesday matchup against the Florida Panthers, the Bruins were off to their best start since the 1929-30 season.

Boston opened with the best record in the NHL at 17-2-0, and head coach Jim Montgomery has led the Black and Gold to the best offense in the league, scoring 4.16 goals per game — the Dallas Stars are second at 3.84 goals per game.

But are the Bruins playing above their weight? Will the shoe finally drop for Boston?

That is what ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski examined Wednesday when looking at the landscape of the league at the quarter mark of the season. The full post can be read here, but Wyshynski tackled the claim of whether or not Boston is the Stanley Cup favorite.

“They’re for real,” Wyshynski wrote. “I felt the notion that the Bruins’ championship window was closing was always overstated. If Patrice Bergeron felt it was worth his time to return, there was still some fight left in the bear. What was underestimated, however, were three factors:

1. The impact of defenseman Hampus Lindholm, a 2021-22 trade deadline acquisition who is playing at a point-per-game pace.

2. The return of David Krejci after a season playing in the Czech Republic, who not only reset the Bruins’ center depth chart but offers a steadying, familiar presence on the ice.

3. The hiring of coach Jim Montgomery, whom the players credit with changing the team’s vibes while demanding accountability.”

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The Bruins have +600 odds to win the Stanley Cup, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The defending champion Colorado Avalanche are the only team with better odds at +450.

The Black and Gold have gotten Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy back ahead of schedule, but the Bruins have found contributions throughout the roster. Charlie Coyle has held down the third line with Taylor Hall, and Nick Foligno has seen a remarkable turnaround, showing the B’s can rely on a number of players every night.

Linus Ullmark has been the league’s top goaltender through 19 games. The 29-year-old has a league-best .935 save percentage, along with a 1.96 goals against average, which is the league-best among goalies that have played at least 10 games.

Boston earned a big win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, and it hopes to continue proving itself as it continues to face off against more championship contenders.

Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images
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