What’s Next for the Bruins



Image by soerli from Pixabay

AJ Tarzia '24, Junior Sports Editor

Entering the 2022-23 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Boston Bruins broke the points record (135) , had a record of 65-12 and a goal differential of 128 and had +1600 odds to win the cup.  Despite setting these records, once the playoffs begin, the regular season stats turn into nothing more than numbers. The Panthers split the season series 2-2  and gave the Bruins two of their twelve losses. The Bruins first round matchup against the Panthers was seen as a 4-0 series win for the Bruins after their incredibly successful season. 

The Bruins went on to lose the series in 7 games (4-3). The Bruins fell apart during this series losing 2 games in overtime and allowing 26 goals in 7 games. Throughout the season, both goalies Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman were the best duo in the league. But, as soon as the playoffs began they turned into liabilities for the Bruins. Neither of these players had playoff experience and that may have played a factor in their poor performances. 

Although the Bruins lost, their season was still a major success and they will have many returning players to make their push for the cup again next season.

A player that might not be returning next year is Captain Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron is 37 years old and has been on the Bruins for the entirety of his 19 year career and it may be coming to a close. After the loss in the TD Garden, Bergeron gave what fans fear is a final salute to Boston. 

When asked after the game Bergeron said “Right now it’s hard to process anything.”  

He will be taking some time with his family to ponder his future. 

Bergeron’s possible retirement has not set in yet. It feels like just yesterday that I was reading in the newspaper that the Bruins had won the 2011 Stanley Cup. Growing up a Bruins fan, the only other long-time Bruin that has  retired is Zdeno Chara in 2022 and that left a hole in the team until late this year. Although Bergeron has given the Bruins a lot of help and leadership throughout the years, the team will be left in the good hands of David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. 

After this year’s playoff loss and possible loss of their leader, it is difficult to identify what the Bruins need to do differently to make it back to the top next year. The Bruins have the luxury of having a good mix between young players and veterans. Therefore, I think that the team won’t be lacking any leadership if Bergeron leaves and they have a good chance at making it back to the top of the Eastern Conference. What I think the Bruins need to do in the offseason is to have the veterans mentor the young players, so next year they will be able to step up and make the plays that are needed to win Boston their 7th Stanley Cup. 

This season will forever go down in history as the best NHL record and most points ever. I wish they could have made a deeper run because this team at its full strength was incredible to watch. But there is no doubt in my mind that Bruins coach Jim Montgomery will prepare the Bruins to learn from their mistakes this series and focus on winning the 2023-24 Stanley Cup trophy.