The Boston Bruins are off to a historic start in 2022, and there’s plenty of credit to go around.
It seems as though each night has provided a new hero for Boston. Linus Ullmark has been stellar in net, posting a 15-1 record and leading the NHL with a .939 save percentage. Jim Montgomery has pushed all the right buttons behind the bench, leading the Bruins to a 21-3-1 record in his first season as head coach. All in all there’s plenty of deserved recognition, but ESPN pointed to a specific group when doling it out Thursday.
When taking a look at the best lines in the NHL, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski chose the Bruins’ top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk as the second best in the entire league. The following is a snippet from his article:
The Bruins’ top line put DeBrusk with their most dynamic duo, and it’s been stellar: According to Money Puck, they have the NHL’s best expected goals ratio at 70.6%. They are allowing 0.48 goals per 60 minutes. They’re earning nearly 70% of the scoring chances. The Bruins had a .988 save percentage with them on the ice! Another season of Bergeron meant another dynamic top line for the B’s.
Based off the numbers alone, its obvious why that line deserves so much credit. Taking a deeper look, however, further demonstrates the value that Marchand-Bergeron-DeBrusk has brought to the table.
DeBrusk’s emergence with that unit has allowed Montgomery to play around with his lines, and turned the Bruins into a much deeper team than we’ve seen in years past. Leading goal scorer David Pastrnak has found himself on the second line alongside David Krejci and Pavel Zacha, which has slotted Taylor Hall down one grouping with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. Together, that third line has flourished and started to become one of the most productive on the entire team.
On Wednesday, that third-line unit combined for three goals in a rout of the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. Sure, the top line looks great together on ice, but it’s how their play has influenced those around him that makes them one of the NHL’s best.