The Boston Bruins continue to set the standard for excellence with each passing win in the regular season after notching their 10th win in a row that’s pushed them to a 49-8-5 record. They became the fastest team in NHL history to reach 100 points in their 61st game of the season and they’re on the verge of building a 20-point lead in the Atlantic Division.
Now it’s up to NHL historians, prognosticators and analysts to grasp at the Boston Bruins‘ place in history as they keep on winning after improving their already deep, dominant lineup with the stunning NHL trade deadline additions of Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway and Tyler Bertuzzi. TSN analyst Craig Button actually referenced Bertuzzi’s former team, the Detroit Red Wings, in attempting to put the dream season for the Boston Bruins in historical hockey perspective.
Button referenced the Scotty Bowman-coached 2002 Stanley Cup Champion Red Wings that posted a 51-17-10 record with 116 points and eventually beat the Carolina Hurricanes in five games for the Stanley Cup Final victory with Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Federov, Chris Chelios, Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille, Pavel Datsyuk, Nik Lidstrom and Dominik Hasek among others in a Hall of Fame-filled lineup.
That’s the kind of greatness he sees in this Boston Bruins group that may not have nine future Hall of Famers as the Red Wings did, but there will still be at least a few amongst a B’s team dominating everybody else.
“You go back and look at what the Detroit Red Wings did that season where they were so far ahead of everybody else all season and then they finished it up with a Stanley Cup,” said Button. “That’s what I see with the Boston Bruins. What’s really interesting with the Boston Bruins is they’ve been the NHL’s best team all year and all the other teams in the East have been trying to catch up to them.
“It’s like the old cartoons with the Coyote and the Roadrunner where the Coyote thought he was catching up to the Roadrunner, and all the teams in the East thought they were catching up to the Roadrunner and the Boston Bruins said ‘Well, I don’t think so.’ You might think you’re close, but the road might run out for you. I don’t see anybody at this point that’s close to the Bruins. I don’t think that any [Eastern Conference] teams have closed the gap in any way, shape or form. Some teams made themselves better, so did the Boston Bruins.”
Button doesn’t see anybody in the East that could challenge the Boston Bruins in the playoffs, though historically they have had a tougher time with Carolina recently and the Ottawa Senators have specifically given them trouble this season. The reigning Stanley Cup champ Colorado Avalanche, in Button’s estimation, as the only team that might give the Black and Gold run with their depth and talent across the board.
“You’re a team that is so good and so complete all the way through the roster,” said Button. “You have all the elements to have success in the playoffs. We talk about the playoffs, the grind, the competitiveness, the size…they have all those elements in place.”
While it’s nice to have national hockey analysts singing the Boston Bruins’ praises, the proof will obviously be what happens once the Stanley Cup playoffs get going after their dominant regular season run continues.