The Boston Bruins have had an incredible start to the 2022-23 NHL season, with a 21-3-1 record through 25 games, good for the best start in franchise history.
They were flawless at home until Monday, when they finally succumbed to the Vegas Golden Knights in a shootout, losing 4-3 but still picking up a point in the process.
Perhaps their most impressive victories came on both ends of that loss, two victories (5-1 and 4-0) over the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in which they totally shut down the Avs’ dynamic trio of Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. The first win stretched their home winning streak to open the season to 14 games, an all-time NHL record.
Many fans in the state must be champing at the bit to get a bet down on their NHL team. They will have to wait, though, as retail Massachusetts sports betting is slated to begin in January and mobile sometime in March.
The law to make sports betting legal in the state was passed on Aug. 1.
How Are the Bruins Doing It?
Remarkably, this rendition of the Boston Bruins was supposed to start the season slow and needed to use the back half of the season to catch up and make a run for the playoffs.
Two key members of the team, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy, were sidelined with injury to start the year, leaving the team undermanned for the first couple of weeks.
The Bruins could be found at odds between +2200 and +3000 to win the Stanley Cup before the start of the season. Those are extremely long odds, considering their current status: Massachusetts sports apps are not yet live, but DraftKings has the Bruins at +550, trailing only the Colorado team they beat this week.
BetMGM also has the Bruins second (+650), behind the Avalanche (+500).
The team started extremely well on the back of Czech superstar David Pastrnak, who was helped by offensive surges from aging centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.
Linus Ullmark was also remarkable in net, but the key seemed to be the total team buy-in to new coach Jim Montgomery’s vision for the squad. Rejuvenated after a couple of long years with tough old-school Bruce Cassidy behind the bench, the entire Bruins roster clearly responded to Montgomery’s new approach.
Marchand and McAvoy also both came back from injury sooner than expected and the result is the NHL’s current best team.
Comparing 2023 Start to Bruins’ Recent Finals Teams
Here is a look at how top Bruins teams have started the season after 24 games:
Team success is nothing new to the Bruins, who have appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011, 2013 and 2019. BetMassachusetts.com took a look at the Bruins record after 24 games for each of those teams to see how they compare to the current iteration of the team.
In 2011, the team started 14-8-2, a strong start, but nothing near the 2023 Bruins level. That team ended the year with a record of 45-25-11 and won the Cup after starting the season with odds of +1600.
The 2013 season was shortened due to the lockout, so the 24-game record was actually half of the season. The team started 17-4-3, an excellent start to a season that ended with a painful loss in the finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. Boston started that season with odds of +1400.
The 2019 Bruins started 13-7-4, once again a good start, but, of course, nowhere near the stratosphere of the 2023 team. That squad finished the season 49-24-9 and battled their way to the finals, where they lost in seven games to the St. Louis Blues. Boston started that season with odds of +1200.
This goes to show that the team is no stranger to good starts, with excellent opening quarters leading to long playoff runs on more than one occasion in recent years. All of those teams started the season with shorter odds than the 2023 Bruins did, but none of them started the year quite as hot.
What to Expect
Boston can’t be expected to keep up this pace all year and has benefited from the new coach bump with Montgomery behind the bench, an effect that should slow as the season continues.
Even if they slow up a bit, the Bruins still will be one of the strongest teams in the NHL all year long.
Sportsbooks clearly agree that the Bruins have an excellent chance to once again reach, and perhaps win, the 2023 Stanley Cup.
Stay close to BetMassachusetts.com for developments on the road to sports wagering in the state as well as for Massachusetts sportsbook promos.