Bouncing Back From a Disappointing Ending In 2023
The 2022-23 season was not only the most disappointing season in Boston Bruins history but one of the biggest disappointments in the history of the league.
Boston looked historically great, and while the regular season is much different than the postseason, they were the clear favourites to win the Stanley Cup.
That all ended in the first round as the Bruins were eliminated by the Florida Panthers in seven games. Florida, an impressive team, completely shocked the hockey world. Now, the Bruins’ job is to bounce back and get back to the same spot they were at last year, just hoping for a different ending this time around.
Their recent stretch has been dominant, winning five games in a row. However, it’s been the energy in the locker room that shows that this might be a different team than last year.
Winning is always fun, but as the Bruins saw last year, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t enjoy themselves.
The team has enjoyed themselves, and it’s shown throughout the past few games. According to NHL.com, Charlie Coyle had the following to say:
“There’s still a long way to go and, yeah, it can always go whatever way, but as long as we work at it, we learn from it, we’re enjoying it. We’re having fun,” Bruins forward Charlie Coyle said. “It’s fun to work through the little rough patches, too. There’s going to be more of them. It’s not always going to go perfect here.”
As Coyle alludes to, the Bruins are having fun, and it’s in a healthy way. The team isn’t slacking off; instead, it is taking care of business and enjoying the ride.
Bruins Are the Best in the Eastern Conference
Despite the ending of the season in 2022-23, the Bruins returned excellent in the 2023-24 season and have proven to be the best team in the Eastern Conference. They’ve given up just 121 goals, tied for the fewest amount in the Eastern Conference while ranking third in the entire NHL.
Must be the grapes. 🍇 pic.twitter.com/A7O1i1zqfz
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 24, 2024
The +41 point differential is also the third-best in the entire NHL and the best in the Eastern Conference. All the statistics point to them being the best team in the Eastern Conference, but they have doubters. Given what happened at the end of the last season, losing in that type of fashion, they have people they need to quiet.
Former James van Riemsdyk added to Coyle’s comments. He noted that the team wanted to play better, and they’ve done just that.
“Coming out of the break there, we really wanted to make sure we had, not a reset, but it seemed like we were getting frustrated as a team and not playing consistently the way we want to play,” forward James van Riemsdyk said.
“So I think we made a conscious effort from the team and the coaches and management as far as harping on the important things. I think we really got back to that as far as playing good fundamentally within the systems we’re trying to play.”
With the situation the Bruins are in, the process is more important than the results. They can be winning games and still have frustration due to a poor process. If they learned anything from last year, it’s that winning in a commanding fashion is more important than winning games while creating bad habits.
This offence and team have found success because of consistency. David Pastrňák, Brad Marchand, and Coyle have all led the way. Pastrňák has the third most points in the NHL, while Marchand ranks in the top 40 and Coyle ranks 65th.
If they can continue enjoying themselves and improving on offence, there might not be a team in the NHL that can beat the Bruins.
“I think it talks about the evolution of our team actually growing offensively,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said.
“I don’t think we ever envisioned having a night like this, and over the course of 82 games there’s some outliers, but I thought that we’ve been seeing this coming here for four games. We’re hanging onto pucks, we’re hanging onto pucks, we end up with high Grade A chances.”
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