It's not a question of if the Boston Bruins will clinch the NHL's Presidents' Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, but when. The Bruins have become the fastest team in NHL history to reach 100 points in a season and are 14 points ahead of their closest competitor. Even scarier for the rest of the Stanley Cup contenders: Boston got better ahead of Friday's trade deadline, and its odds to win the Cup for the first time since 2011 continue to improve.
Boston won its ninth straight game Thursday, blowing out a good Buffalo team 7-1 to improve to 48-8-5 in its 61 games, good for 101 points. The previous fastest team to 100 points was Montreal in 1976-77, when the Canadiens did it in 62 games. They did win the Cup, sweeping Boston in the Final. That Habs team also holds the record for most overall points with 132, and that was in an 80-game season.
The Bruins also are on pace to break the single-season league record of 62 wins, set by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning. Neither of those clubs won the Cup. Detroit lost in the Western Conference Finals (the Red Wings are now in the East) and Tampa Bay was swept in the first round of the playoffs by Columbus in the biggest NHL playoff upset ever.
In recent deals, the Bruins added Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov from Washington and former 30-goal scorer Tyler Bertuzzi from Detroit. The rich got richer.
Orlov, a defenseman, had a goal and two assists in Thursday's win and has three goals and five helpers in four games with his new team. He is the third player in franchise history to record eight or more points through his first four games with the Bruins, joining forwards Fred Stanfield in 1967-68 (11 points) and Dimitri Kvartalnov in 1992-93 (eight points). Orlov's three goals in four games with the Bruins matched his total with Washington this season before the trade (43 games).
At BetMGM, the Bruins were +2500 to win the Cup when the season opened, down to +500 last week, +475 on Wednesday and now a season-low +425. The defending champion Avalanche are next at +650, followed by a run of Eastern Conference teams: the Hurricanes (+750), Maple Leafs (+900), Rangers (+1100), Devils (+1200) and the three-time East champion Lightning (+1200).
If the playoffs started today, the Bruins would face the Islanders, who hold the second wild-card spot, in the first round. Then Boston would face either Toronto or Tampa Bay in the conference semifinals.
No Presidents' Trophy winner has won the Cup since the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks. They were the last such team to even make the Final. Florida won the Presidents' Trophy last year and was swept in the Eastern semis by Tampa Bay.
So which 2023 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine's Fantasy baseball cheat sheets now to get rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Joey Votto's disappointing season, and find out.
Share This Story