Bruins’ NHL-record home start is part of ‘special’ season

“It’s inconceivable that we’ll have a start like that, isn’t it?” said Montgomery.

And yet here they are.

The Bruins opened the season with 11 consecutive wins at the TD Garden, tying the NHL record with a 6-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. The two teams that have previously achieved this were the Blackhawks in the 1963-64 season and the Florida Panthers last season.

The Bruins have a chance to break that record when they meet the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, the team that knocked them out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in seven games in the first round of the Eastern Conference in 2022.

Video: CHI@BOS: Pastrnak with his 2nd on Folignos assist

So the Bruins go into the traditional US Thanksgiving game with an impeccable home record, and have a team worthy of the word that’s being used in Boston these days: special.

“It says something about this group that we are building something special here,” said Stürmer Nick Foligno after the tenth home win in a row on Thursday.
Of course, the Bruins should start slow. The Bruins were meant to be a team that would struggle until some big names – the defenders Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk as well as strikers Brad Marchand – would return after their surgeries.

This is a team that has required a learning curve and system change following the success of the Bruce Cassidy regime – he was fired June 7 after six seasons and replaced by Montgomery. Under Cassidy, the Bruins had made the Stanley Cup playoffs every season and advanced to the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals, losing to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.

Instead, the transition was seamless, the three players all came back early, and the Bruins have somehow emerged as arguably the best team in hockey.

Video: PHI@BOS: Zacha serves Krejci in the third third

“We’re having a heck of a lot of fun,” McAvoy said. “You can just see how tight everyone is in this space and how everyone is playing for each other. … We rely on each other. We have fun doing it. It’s a great attitude, a great feeling and a great vibe in this space . We just have to ride those waves.”

Not many players have had the experience of playing for so long on such a dominant team, a team that doesn’t seem interested in losing. Foligno enjoyed the second-longest winning streak in NHL history (16 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2016-17) and a 13-1-0 start to the season with the Ottawa Senators in 2007-08, his rookie season .

“But that feels different, I can say that,” said Foligno. “The depth. The focus. We’re a confident group but not cocky. I think sometimes when you go through something like that you break your habits. I know that was the case in Columbus. We just won, and some games we didn’t deserve, but we had a winning streak and we felt good, you just catch lightning in the bottle. It’s a bit different here.”

It’s other players that make it big. Every game is won in a different way. It’s a different attitude.

“We expect to win, but we know how we’re going to do it,” said Foligno. “No one cheats.”

And on Saturday, the Bruins delivered perhaps their best game of the season, a comfortable win over the Blackhawks in which the Bruins topped 30-8 after the second period and 43-18 shots after the siren, a game Montgomery called “really dominant”.

Video: VAN@BOS: Zacha scores in the second third

But while Saturday’s game was a tour de force, it’s the season that shows what this Bruins team is and can become.

They have six straight wins and a record of 16-2-0. The only losses were on October 18 against the Ottawa Senators and on November 5 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

defender Brandon Carlo is the only regular player who has not scored a goal this season. Foligno, who scored 13 points last season and contributed ten points (three goals, seven assists) in 18 games, is having a strong season for the Bruins. Thomas Nosek has a five-game points streak, and goalkeeper Linus Ullmark could apply for the Vezina Trophy.

None of this was to be expected. But they accept it.

“We’re trying to focus on what’s bringing us the success we’re having right now and enjoying the moment,” said the captain Patrice Bergeronwho had his 998th and 999th NHL points on Saturday and is just one point away from becoming the fourth Bruins player to have 1,000 points after Ray Bourque (1,506), Bobby Orr (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012). will.

“Obviously it’s a special group that we have to be grateful for. Other than that, everyone is having fun. We have to take it one day at a time. That’s what we’ve done so far.”

That was the hope when Bergeron decided to return rather than retire and as a striker David Krejci joined him returning from his season in the Czech Republic. The hope was that this side could be good enough to hold their own, good enough to give the 2011 champions another Stanley Cup shot.

Video: BOS@BUF: Bergeron nets after a great pass game

Nobody could predict this.

But, as they all said, they are still not satisfied. Eleven straight home wins and no one in the Bruins’ dressing room at the TD Garden was ready to end that streak anytime soon.

“I noticed that although we are successful, the honesty here is so great,” said Foligno. “Such a thirst to get better. A hunger to get even better. And that’s pretty scary. It’s not like we’re happy where we are right now. We know there are other levels that we will achieve.”

“We’re really looking forward to that. Because our best ice hockey is still ahead of us.”

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