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Haggs: ‘Magical’ Boston Bruins Season Continues With NHL Hardware



Boston Bruins

BOSTON – There is literally nothing else that the Boston Bruins need to accomplish during this 2022-23 NHL regular season.

Sure, they still have a chance to break the record for most points by a team during a regular season while chasing the 132 points posted by the dynastic Montreal Canadiens during the 1976-77 regular season. With a 58-12-5 record and 121 points thus far this season and seven games left to play, they would realistically need to win five or six of their remaining games in order to made the record their own.

It’s possible, of course, but the real prize was clinched during Thursday night’s 2-1 overtime Boston Bruins win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden when they grabbed the President’s Trophy and set the all-time Boston Bruins franchise record with their 58th win of the season. That’s more than the Bobby Orr-era Bruins ever managed, more than the core group that eventually won the 2011 Stanley Cup ever totaled and more than some of those excellent Ray Bourque/Cam Neely B’s teams ever accumulated with a pair of teams that were good enough to get to the Stanley Cup Final.

So Thursday night’s postgame dressing room message was about appreciating how well things have gone during this “magical” regular season while acknowledging greatly that it’s not going to amount to much if the Boston Bruins don’t finish the job in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Obviously, to have won the Presidents Trophy, like I said to the players, be proud of what we achieved,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “I guess it exemplifies how good of a team we’ve been, and that’s a feather in everyone’s hat throughout the organization, including scouts, pro scouts, the job they’ve done for us, the amateur scouts throughout the years and, obviously, upper management.

“Then you look at the players and what they’ve done. It’s the players that get us there, and it’s a bunch of work that’s gone in throughout the organization to get the right players in our locker room.

“It’s been a magical season so far. We know the hardest part is ahead of us, and we’re looking forward to that grind.”

Honestly, the Thursday night win over Columbus was a testament to what the Boston Bruins have been able to do this season. They weren’t at their best for a second game in a row against a Blue Jackets team just playing out the string at this point, but they were grinding throughout a black and blue game that featured three different fights. And they were again enjoying a mistake-free game from Linus Ullmark between the pipes as he continued his drive to the Vezina Trophy with 25 saves, including 10 stops apiece in the second and third periods.

Then after pushing things into overtime, Hampus Lindholm and David Pastrnak brought out the razzle dazzle that allowed No. 88 to score his 53rd game of the season and secure the victory in the extra session.

It’s a formula that’s played out many, many times during the regular season with role players playing their roles to perfection and the stars stepping up time and time again, and it’s one that the B’s are hoping will also be there in the postseason. As it is, it’s earned the Boston Bruins their fourth President’s Trophy in franchise history and a tie for the most points in B’s history (121) with seven games left to send the record into the stratosphere.

They also had some great regular season moments whether it was Bergeron securing his 1000th career NHL point in Tampa, Pastrnak becoming the first Boston Bruins player to score 50 goals since Cam Neely or Jake DeBrusk scoring a pair of third period goals to win the Fenway Winter Classic for the Black and Gold.

“Of course, you’re proud,” said Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. “It was a lot of games. A lot of hard work. I’m proud of the way we’ve done it by sticking to our process and growing as a team and learning, and really playing for each other. That being said, it’s nice, but obviously, you have your eyes set on something bigger. We know there’s a lot of work in front of us.”

The good news for the Bruins is that they will continue to have built-in challenges to keep them sharp at least through this weekend, as they’re readying for a Saturday afternoon date with a Pittsburgh Penguins team that could line up as their first round playoff opponent. The B’s intend to treat that game like a playoff matchup in terms of approach and preparation, and certainly the intensity will be there for a pair of hockey clubs looking to import a lasting message to each other prior to a Stanley Cup playoff date.

“It’s awesome to be part of this team,” added Trent Frederic. “There’s three trophies in this league and we got one of them right now, but the other two are the ones we’re really going for, so it feels good. It feels cool to be a part of an historic franchise – and to have your name a part of that and this team is pretty cool.”

The mission to capture that second and third trophy begins this weekend with another set of back-to-back games that will set the Boston Bruins up their final stretch of regular season games sprinkled with dogged playoff preparation for a long, arduous path fraught with expectation and excitement.

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