Remember when the Boston Bruins held the fourth-best odds to win the Atlantic Division at +900? Or how about when they were listed at -165 to make the playoffs? That line, by the way, was the 15th highest in the NHL, basically saying the Bruins were at best a playoff bubble team.
At the time, Patrice Bergeron was still unsigned. David Krejci was in Czechia. Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk were all facing lengthy recoveries from offseason surgery. Oh, and Linus Ullmark was heading into his second season between the pipes with a career .916 save percentage and 2.69 goals-against average. Not to mention all the contract drama swirling around star sniper David Pastrnak.
We all doubted the Bruins, and boy did they take it personally.
At the time of writing, the Bruins have played 47 games and accumulated a crazy 80 points in the standings. They’re now the fastest team to hit 80 points in the NHL. Ever.
Six wins in a row. Fastest team in NHL history to 80 points. The Boston Bruins just continue to look like the greatest regular season team in NHL history, which is absolutely absurd but a true fact right now pic.twitter.com/tHSQvaBBQA— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) January 25, 2023
So how good can it get for Boston? Can the Bruins break the NHL’s single-season all-time points record of 132 set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1976-77? Can they have a better season than arguably one of the greatest teams in the history of the sport?
Can Bruins Break NHL’s Single-Season Points Record?
|At Least 133 Points: Yes||At Least 133 Points: No|
Based on their +300 odds of hitting at least 133 points, the Bruins are given a 25 percent chance to do so. That’s a 75 percent chance that they’ll fail, even though their current points percentage (Pts%) of .851 has them on pace for a whopping 140 points.
To break the record, Boston needs at least another 53 points from its next 35 games. That’s a .757 Pts% for the rest of the season. So the Bruins have some slack to work with here. They can slow down a bit and still break the record. And slowdowns happen for teams at the top of the standings. No team has ever ended an 82-game season with a points percentage above .799.
Over the past five 82-game seasons, there have been 15 teams that were accumulating points at or above a .700 rate through the first half of the schedule. No team has exceeded a .786 points percentage in those five years. That .786 belonged to Tampa Bay in 2018-19. All of those 15 teams at or above .700 saw their points percentage drop in the second half of the season. Seven of those 15 sides, nearly half, saw a slowdown that would still allow Boston to break the record.
Recent history tells us that good teams don’t suddenly stop being good even if they slow down a little. So expect Boston’s points percentage to drop from its current .851, but not so much that they don’t break the record.
Is NHL Single-Season Wins Record Breakable?
|At Least 63 Wins: Yes||At Least 63 Wins: No|
If I think Boston is going to break the points record, I must then think they’ll break the single-season wins mark too, right? That record is held by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning, who both won 62 games.
Wrong. The Bruins can still break the points record with 62 wins.
I know, it seems like breaking both records should go hand in hand. But, as discussed, there’s a letdown that’s likely to happen for Boston. They’re going to start dropping a few games they would have normally won during the first half of the year.
While the first half of their schedule was home-heavy, the second half of the season is the opposite with 20 of their remaining 35 games on the road. Don’t get me wrong – Boston is still a good team away from TD Garden, but they’ve banked 53 percent of their wins playing on home ice.
Boston also has the 11th-toughest remaining schedule with a 1.127 SOS according to Tankathon. They still have to play a few teams that have given them a hard time this season. The Bruins haven’t been able to beat the Sens in two tries, and they still have to play Ottawa two more times. Boston also has to play Toronto (twice) and Buffalo (twice), two teams that have already given the Bruins a rare L on the season.
They’ll break the single-season points record but fall just short of breaking the single-season wins record.