Bruins make history with 30th win: How goal differential tells the story of Boston’s success

The Boston Bruins recorded their 30th win of the 2022-23 season on Thursday when they defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 5-2. In doing so, it tied the Bruins with the 1944-45 Montreal Canadiens for the second-fastest team to record 30 wins in a single season in NHL history.

The only team to reach the 30-win mark faster was the 1929-30 Bruins, who accomplished the feat in just 35 games with a 30-4-1 record to start off that season. That particular Bruins team finished the 1929-30 campaign with a 38-5-1 record, but were upset by the Canadiens two games to none in the best-of-three Stanley Cup Final.

The 2022-23 version of the Bruins currently have a 30-4-4 record to go along with an NHL-best 64 points. The next closest teams in the standings are the Carolina Hurricanes and Vegas Golden Knightswho both have 56 points to their credit.

It’s safe to say that these Bruins look to be an absolute juggernaut through the first half of the season.

First of all, the Bruins put the puck in the back of the net at an alarming pace. Entering Friday, Boston is scoring the second-most goals in the NHL (3.76 goals-per-game), which only trails the Buffalo Sabres (3.94). The Bruins tallied five goals for the 13th time this season in Thursday’s win over the Kings.

Whenever you’re piling up goals, it’s not going to be a huge surprise that you’re scoring more than a large majority of the league’s team. However, the goal differential is what truly sets the Bruins apart from the rest of the league. The Bruins own a mind-boggling goal differential of +61 goals on the season. To put that into perspective, the Dallas Stars possess the next-highest goal differential at +31 goals.

Here’s a broader look at that goal differential dominance:

Perhaps that’s all par for the course when the Bruins have six different players who have already tallied double-digit goals this season. Star winger David Pastrnak leads the Bruins’ offensive attack in points (52), goals (27), and assists (25) on the year. Pastrnak has scored in 23 of his 38 games on the season. The Bruins star tallied two goals against the Kings on Thursday, which marked the fourth time in which Pastrnak recorded a multi-goal game throughout the 2022-23 season.

Another stunning statistic is the fact that the Bruins haven’t lost consecutive games at any point during the 2022-23 campaign. Earlier this season, Boston compiled a 13-game home winning streak spanning from Oct. 15 until Dec. 5 to start off the season.

In addition to the abundance of goal-scoring, it also doesn’t hurt that Boston has had the best goalie in the NHL between the pipes this season. Linus Ullmark leads the league in wins (21), goals-against-average (1.86) and save percentage (.939), while also having a pair of shutouts to his name.

According to MoneyPuck, Ullmark also leads the NHL with 21.5 goals saved above expected. That particular metric values ​​shots based on their quality, which traditionally comes down to their distance taken from the goaltender. If you average out the metric over 60 minutes, the Bruins netminder owns a .890 goals saved above expected.

Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that Ullmark possesses a .967 save percentage when facing unblocked shots. Ullmark, who was selected to his first NHL All-Star Game on Thursdaycertainly is helped by playing in front of a talented roster, but he’s also come up big time and time again.

Boston is currently on pace to win 65 in the regular season. If the Bruins were able to achieve that number, they will tally the highest regular season win total in NHL history. The current record is shared between the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightningwho both registered 62-win campaigns.

If the Bruins can stay relatively healthy, this really has the potential to be a season for the ages.

Leave a Comment