The Boston Bruins continue to set the pace in the NHL this season, leading the league by seven full points and providing an early boon for Massachusetts sportsbooks.
A win percentage greater than .800 is remarkable this deep into a season and that is exactly where Boston finds itself. To reach such team heights often takes incredible individual achievements, and these Bruins certainly have that box checked as well, with several players in the mix for individual awards.
Plenty of Options
While the Hart Trophy race seems all but wrapped up with generational superstar Connor McDavid leading the DraftKings Sportsbook Massachusetts odds board at -800, Boston star David Pastrnak has ensured he is also in that conversation as he leads the market after McDavid with odds of +1500.
Starting goalie Linus Ullmark is also in the mix, though he is a longshot with odds of +5000. But that gives him the eighth-best odds according to DraftKings, as the large number is more due to McDavid’s presence as the clear favorite than anything against Ullmark.
Ullmark currently has a similarly strong hold on the Vezina Trophy odds board, as he is -170 to claim the top goalie award at the end of this season.
Bergeron, Ullmark Among Leaders
Finding odds for the Selke Trophy for the league’s top defensive player is harder to do, but if they were available on Massachusetts sports betting apps, five-time winner Patrice Bergeron would be leading those markets as well.
The Bruins' recent history with the Vezina Trophy is excellent, as the Bruins have had the most winners this century outside of the New Jersey Devils, who saw starter Martin Brodeur win four times in a five-year stretch.
If Ullmark were to win it this year the Bruins would tie that number, as Tim Thomas won it in 2009 and 2011 and Tuukka Rask won it in 2014.
Ullmark currently leads the league in wins, goals against average and save percentage, with his leads in the latter two categories quite significant. To put it into perspective, he has a better GAA and SV% right now than Igor Shesterkin did last year, and Shesterkin ran away with the Vezina and was a finalist for the Hart as well.
Could Pastrnak Capture The Hart?
Boston’s history with the Hart Trophy is much more tumultuous, especially since the turn of the century. In fact, no Bruin has won the Hart Trophy since 1974 when Phil Esposito won the award.
Joe Thornton’s Hart Trophy win in 2006 was particularly painful for Boston sports fans, as the Bruins traded him early in the season after a slow start and he wound up putting up 125 points and winning the Hart and Art Ross trophies as a San Jose Shark.
Meanwhile, the package of players that came to Boston in the trade never amounted to anything close to that.
Pastrnak has put up a season worthy of such an award, and it is only due to the presence of McDavid that he isn’t a serious contender. Pastrnak is fourth in the league in points with 72 (McDavid has 94) and second in goals with 38 (McDavid has 41).
Of consolation to Pastrnak is the fact he is in a contract year and his massive season will undoubtedly bring with it a significant pay raise in the offseason.
The Selke Trophy is likely to wind up in Bergeron’s hands once again, as the Bruins captain has put together another strong two-way season and is viewed as the best bet for the award. He has already captured the award a record five times and a sixth would come as a shock to no one at this point.
While The Goings Good
Great teams are led by great players. The Boston Bruins have proved to be no different this year, with a trio of stars leading the way and setting themselves up for some individual recognition as they fight for team success.
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