Boston Bruins players and staff have said for months that they weren’t trying to break April’s record for most wins in a season. Their focus was to win the Stanley Cup in June. But try or not, they did it anyway.
Heading into the final week of one of the most high-profile regular seasons ever, the Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 on Sunday for their 63rd win. Most wins of the season.
They also did it with their usual flair as David Pastnak scored a hat-trick, reaching 60 goals in the season and 300 in his career. Pastranach said he was delighted to have reached the mark for the first time, and that it supports a record the Bruins see as only a prelude to their true ambitions.
This means becoming the first team to have the best regular-season record since Chicago won the Stanley Cup in the 2012-13 season (shortened to 48 games due to lockout) and avoiding the fate of the record-setting Reds. is. Wings and Lightning lost in the playoffs.
“Obviously, this record is great,” Pasternack told reporters in Philadelphia. That’s our focus. ”
The Bruins still have two games left in the regular season, so the tally could go up, and keeping some players out of action to rest for the approaching postseason doesn’t seem to be a problem. .
They’ve done that in several of their recent games, recuperating tired, elderly or injured players, and continuing to win despite playing five consecutive weeks of matches every Saturday and Sunday. They won 9 of those 10 games.
Since suffering two mysterious losses to the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks in March, the Bruins have won 13 of their last 14 games, many of them resting key players. Yes. Boston’s top center Patrice Bergeron has played in just 3 of her last 6 games. Second-line center David Craig played just two of the last six, while top defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed two of the last four.
All three sat out Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, and defenseman Dmitri Orlov has been in the spotlight since being traded from Washington to Boston in February. Former Heart Trophy winner Taylor Hall, who returned to Saturday’s game against the Devils after missing 20 games with a knee injury, also missed Sunday’s win.
“They missed some guys, but it’s still a really good hockey team,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said.
The Flyers are a terrible team with only 29 wins. But since earning the top playoff seed, the Bruins have continued to beat out good teams that are either already qualified for the playoffs or fighting for it. On Thursday, they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs. The best team in their division, on Saturday they defeated the Devils, the second best team in the Metropolitan Division.
Whoever they put on the ice, regardless of the opponent, the Bruins usually come out on top thanks to their remarkable roster depth.
Bruins center Charlie Coyle said, “You take care of yourself every night and every day, and it just builds up.
Coyle believes team leaders set benchmarks throughout the year for the Bruins’ end-of-season consistency, carving out slices of the season like long trips and particularly difficult tough opponents, as well as how to achieve specific goals. I explained that I was challenging the group. level of success.
He said after confirming that the top seed was confirmed and he only had a few games left, he turned to setting a winning record as another means of rewarding pursuit and motivation.
“I hope this is just the beginning,” Coyle said.
This Bruins team has a deep roster — four solid lines and three defensive pairings, each with a formidable point presence in McAvoy, Humpus Lindholm and Orlov — Pasternak was the offensive star .
He leads the league, four goals ahead of Edmonton’s Conor McDavid, becoming only the second Bruin to score at least 60 goals. Phil his Esposito achieved his four goals including his 76 goals in 1970–71. It is the first time since 1995-96 that two players have reached his 60th goal in the same season. It was teammates Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagger who recorded 69 and his 62 for the Pittsburgh Penguins that year.
After fans in Philadelphia’s Boston tossed their hats on the ice in honor of Pasternak’s hat-trick on Sunday, the Czech winger said Pasternak’s former linemate, Boston’s Brad Marchand, had done so many years before. I told him I should always aim to score 10 more goals than he thinks it is possible. Pastrnak indicated that he thought 50 was achievable.
“Well, I was aiming for 60, but I didn’t think I’d make it that far,” he said.
As for the playoffs, which start on April 17, the Bruins still don’t know their first-round opponents. That will be decided this week with four teams battling it out for his final two spots: the Panthers, Islanders, Penguins and Sabres. The Bruins could set a new record in his next two games.
They have 131 points, just one behind the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens for most points in the season. At the time, the team played his 80th game and a draw awarded him one point (the Canadiens did him 60-8-12). Currently, the team has 82 games in which he scores 2 points for a win in extra time or a shootout win and 1 point for a loss in extra time or a shootout.
But winning the most games and scoring the most points seems unattainable without the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup.
“Looking too far ahead creates anxiety,” said Jim Montgomery, Boston’s first-year coach. “We believe in continuing to exist. We are not looking at June. We are looking at April 17.”