Just under a month away from preseason games, the Boston Bruins, and their fans are getting excited to defend their title of best in the land. At the same time, however, they know that they have to temper their expectations a bit going into the 2023-24 season.
Winning 63 games in a season is an accomplishment, and to show resiliency while you do it just adds to said accomplishment. But, when push came to shove for the Bruins, they were humbled by a First Round, seven-game, series loss at the hands of the Florida Panthers.
Many experts are calling for the Bruins to regress this year, and they most likely will. After all, what team wins 63 games two years in a row, right? Don’t get me wrong, if they won 63 (or more) again this year, not only would it shock the NHL world, but I would be incredibly happy.
While Boston did lose Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to retirement, the rest of their losses with the exception of Tomas Nosek, Connor Clifton and Taylor Hall, the majority of the Bruins’ losses came from players who came from the outside to help them out as the season progressed, most of which they have overcome.
The first month of the season has the potential to be tough, however, as they open the season the season with seven of their 11 games that month taking place against Western Conference opponents, including three in California against the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks before heading to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Blackhawks prior to heading back home.
Is the schedule a good thing or a bad thing?
Now while it’s tough to start the season, and they may get off to a slow start, there are some positives to look at for the Bruins, mostly how this sets them up for the rest of the season. Other than their southwest trip, and western Canada trip, this keeps them either in the middle of the country or east coast for the rest of the season.
This creates less fatigue, and helps them to settle into more of a routine in terms of travel as opposed to past years when the west coast trip would pop-up out of nowhere in January when they have already had injuries pile up.
It also gives Boston an opportunity to get their feet under them, and be able to have a slow start if needed, and make the games against its conference opponents mean more as the season goes on.
If you’re worried about the Bruins looking different from last season, don’t be. It’s tough to replicate a 63-win season, especially the year after.
Realistic record prediction: 55-12-15