Record: 44-14-12, 100 points
Playoff position: Lead Tampa Bay Lightning by eight points for first place in Atlantic Division
After a disappointing end to the 2018-19 season, losing to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden, the Bruins came roaring back this season and are the leaders for the Presidents’ Trophy and a favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
The Bruins got a point in 13 of their first 14 games (11-1-2) and were 16-4-0 in the 20 games before the pause to become the first NHL team to reach 100 points this season.
Much of that success can be attributed to the top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, who have combined for 238 points (107 goals, 131 assists), including 48 goals by Pastrnak, who is tied with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals for the NHL lead.
But it’s not only that the Bruins have arguably the best line in the NHL. It’s also their goaltending.
Coming off an impressive performance in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs — 2.02 goals-against average, .934 save percentage — Tuukka Rask is having his best season since 2013-14, when he was voted the winner of the Vezina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL. Among goalies to start at least 30 games this season, Rask leads the NHL in GAA (2.12), save percentage (.929), and is tied for second in shutouts (five), including one in the game before the pause to end the Philadelphia Flyers’ nine-game winning streak. With backup Jaroslav Halak, who has a 2.39 GAA, a .919 save percentage and three shutouts in 31 games, the Bruins have perhaps the best goalie duo in the NHL.
The biggest criticism of the Bruins has been their depth beyond the top line, and they tried to address that at the NHL Trade Deadline by acquiring forwards Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie from the Anaheim Ducks. They also were counting on increased production from forward Charlie Coyle (16 goals, 21 assists).
Video: DET@BOS: Bergeron scores SHG on backhander in front
David Pastrnak: Everyone should know Pastrnak by now, but 2019-20 is the season when the 23-year-old went from star to budding superstar. He has four hat tricks among his League-leading 48 goals; his previous NHL career high was 38 last season.
Video: TBL@BOS: Pastrnak rockets one-timer in for 48th goal
Bruins 2, Flyers 0, March 10: In their final game before the pause, the Bruins shut out the Flyers to deny them a 10th consecutive win. Rask made 36 saves, and Matt Grzelcyk and Bergeron each scored in an impressive road win.
Video: BOS@PHI: Rask earns 50th NHL shutout on 33rd birthday
Most compelling game
Lightning 5, Bruins 3, March 7: Tampa Bay and Boston battled it out in a game ultimately won by the team that needed it more in the standings. It was the second time the teams played each other in five days, and 94 penalty minutes showed there’s bad blood brewing. The intensity and skill should create a buzz for this possible second-round playoff series.
Video: Top 10 Bruins Plays … Thus Far