The Boston Bruins ended the 2022-23 NHL season in historic fashion, finishing with a 62-12-5 record and a league-high and NHL-record-setting 135 regular season points. As a result, Boston finished first place in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. The Bruins allowed a league-low 177 goals against and led the league in both point percentage (.823) and goal differential (+128). Dominance ensued whether Boston played at home or on the road — posting a 34-4-3 home record and 31-8-2 road record.
As a team, the Bruins deployed 11 skaters who finished with double-digit goals and eight skaters with at least 50 points. David Pastrnak led the team in both statistical categories, finishing with a career-high 61 goals and 113 points.
While everything looked great throughout the regular season, to call the way the Bruins’ season ended a pure disappointment would be a massive understatement. The Presidents’ Trophy curse hit them, as they suffered a first-round Game 7 loss to the Florida Panthers. On top of the devastating postseason loss, both Patrice Bergeron (58 points) and David Krejci (56 points) retired this offseason, leaving a rather large hole in the offensive attack that produced the second-most goals (301) last season. In place of Bergeron and Krejci, both Pavel Zacha (57 points) and Charlie Coyle (45 points) will likely be expected to step up although new additions Jesper Boqvist and Morgan Geekie could help that cause, too.
An important season lies ahead for Boston as its Atlantic Division opponents have upgraded during the offseason and it begins with a two-game homestand against the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators.
Top Goal Scorer: David Pastrnak — 61 goals
Top Point Getter: David Pastrnak — 113 points
Top Goaltender: Linus Ullmark — 40-6-1 record, 1.89 goals against on average (GAA), .938 save percentage
Bruins upcoming schedule for the week of October 11:
- Wednesday, October 11 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
- Saturday, October 14 vs. Nashville Predators
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games
Injury Update: none
Wednesday, October 11 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
- The Chicago Blackhawks finished the 2022-23 season with a 26-49-7 record, in last place in the Central Division and 15th overall in the Western Conference with 59 points and a -97 goal differential.
- The Blackhawks ranked last in both goals per game (2.46) and total goals for (202), allowed the 5th-most goals per game (3.65) and deployed the 28th-ranked power play unit (16.4%) and 22nd-ranked penalty kill unit (76.2%).
- Their leading point-getter from 2023, Max Domi (49 points), signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs but plenty of offensive firepower was added throughout the offseason. Chicago drafted phenom Connor Bedard and brought in proven talent such as Taylor Hall, Nick Foligno, Corey Perry and Ryan Donato, who should help this squad find much more success on offense and the power play this season.
- Between the pipes will likely be veteran Petr Mrazek, who allowed 3.66 goals per game last season, good for the 5th-worst average in the league. The loss of Alex Stalock, who was the more efficient goaltender in fewer starts allowing 3.01 goals per game and posting a .908 save percentage, may worsen a goaltending situation that already struggled mightily last season.
- Despite the revamped roster, there are still plenty of goal-scorers on the ice at any given time for Boston, and it should be able to take advantage of a still-rebuilding Chicago squad that doesn’t look much different between the pipes and will show some early signs of struggle.
Saturday, October 14 vs. Nashville Predators
- The Nashville Predators finished the 2022-23 season with a 42-32-8 record, in fifth place in the Central Division and 10th overall in the Western Conference with 92 points and a -9 goal differential.
- A team that has ultimately accepted its time to rebuild, the Predators ranked 27th in goals per game (2.72) and total goals for (223), allowed the 12th-fewest goals per game (2.74) and deployed the 27th-ranked power play unit (17.6%) and 6th-ranked penalty kill unit (82.6%).
- Roman Josi (59 points) figures to be the top point-getter yet again this season with the departures of Matt Duchene (56 points), Mikael Granlund (36 points), Nino Niederreiter (28 points) and Ryan Johansen (28 points). The additions of Ryan O’Reilly and Gustav Nyquist will fill some holes but the 27th-ranked offensive attack could be even less exciting and action-packed than last season due to the pure lack of talent.
- Unlike Chicago, Nashville will be solid between the pipes and Boston likely won’t have it that easy. Juuse Saros (2.69 GAA and .919 save percentage) will continue to make his case for best at his position and can easily steal games away from most teams on any given night. While the Predators deployed a top penalty kill unit, that likely won’t be the case this season as their already-thin defensive unit has become even thinner, replacing Mattias Ekholm (18 points) with Luke Schenn and sticking with Ryan McDonagh (20 points) and Tyson Barrie (12 points).
- The Bruins will have their hands full in finding ways to get the puck in the back of the net outside of Pastrnak and Brad Marchand (67 points) but the Predators already struggled to score last season and lost four of their top 10 scorers to free agency or near the trade deadline. Boston’s defensive grit is still prevalent and it will certainly be a factor against Nashville.
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