BOSTON – There are no other hills to climb for the Boston Bruins in the 2022-23 NHL regular season after putting that final feather in their cap on Tuesday night.
The final home game of the regular season turned into a celebration of the B’s regular season for the ages as Boston broke the NHL record for points in a season (133) with a 5-2 win over the Alex Ovechkin-less Washington Capitals at TD Garden. It wasn’t an incredibly passionate game or 60 minutes of hockey where the Bruins were pushed to their limit by a Capitals hockey club playing out the string, but it was instead an efficient showing of just how dominant the B’s depth is as their fourth line accounted for a pair of goals including Tomas Nosek’s game-winner.
The Bruins have passed the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens for the most points in an NHL regular season with 133! 🐻 pic.twitter.com/GTuGgpNwZ2
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 12, 2023
In doing it, the Boston Bruins passed a legendary Montreal Canadiens team from 1976-77 that posted 132 regular season points while amidst a run of four straight Stanley Cups during a dynastic run for the Habs.
“I think of all the Hall of Famers on those teams and then Scotty [Bowman] behind the bench and going to the old Montreal Forum, thinking about how great those teams are/were and how we’ve surpassed that total,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery, who grew up in Montreal watching that team play at the old Montreal Forum. “It’s significant because those were dominant, dominant hockey teams. We are in elite company.
“It’s nice to break the record for points. The Montreal team that we surpassed only played 80 games. I think  wins in 80 games is a little more significant, but it’s a good year. I care more that we’re playing the right way.”
Montgomery said he heard from both Jon Cooper and Scotty Bowman, the two head coaches of the teams whose record the Bruins broke when they recorded their 63rd win of the season last weekend, and of course it was Bowman coaching those great Canadiens teams in the 1970’s that the Bruins just surpassed as well with the 133 points this season. It was an appropriate regular season finale for a Boston Bruins team that still could even push to 135 points for the season and a 65th regular season win with another victory in Montreal on Thursday night.
Amazingly, the Bruins only had two stretches during their season where they lost consecutive games and only one spot on the schedule where they dropped two regulation games in a row, and that added up to the historical dominance everybody was celebrating on Tuesday night. Chasing the record actually gave the Boston Bruins something to focus on even as they were far and away the best team in the NHL this season and could have just coasted to the President’s Trophy.
Instead, chasing the all-time record kept Boston playing the right way and allowed them to stay focused as a team on playing at a high level with the playoffs approaching.
“It’s something we’re proud of,” admitted Brad Marchand. “We did set our sights on it the last little while where we had kind of locked up first. We needed something to play for the remainder of the regular season. It’s a goal we wanted to accomplish. It’s not our be all or end all, but it’s an incredible accomplishment.
“We’re very proud of this group and what we’ve been able to accomplish. With the history of this league, how many good teams there’s been, it’s special. And it’s something, I think, down the road we’ll be even more proud of [the record]. We’re happy about it right now, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a regular-season record. Playoffs start and everything starts over again. There are going to be 16 teams that have the same goal in mind. What we’ve accomplished so far has no bearing on that.”
For now, it becomes another in a long line of extremely noteworthy accomplishments for this season’s Boston Bruins group with Patrice Bergeron’s 1000 points, the come-from-behind Winter Classic victory at Fenway and David Pastrnak’s 60 goals all quickly coming to mind. The 133 points, however, speaks to the overall dominance and elite standard that the Boston Bruins have set in the regular season this year, and what they hope to carry over into the Stanley Cup playoffs next week.