by Dan Adkisson
It seems like only yesterday that fans were tingling with anticipation for the start of a new NHL season, yet we are already halfway through the 2022-23 regular season. This campaign concludes in a little under three months, on April 13, before the excitement of the playoffs takes hold and then the 107th edition of the Stanley Cup arrives in June.
You would have been hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Boston predicting that the Boston Bruins would win this season’s Stanley Cup, but the team that calls the TD Garden home is the hot favorite for Stanley Cup glory right now. The Bruins have won the Stanley Cup six times, most recently in 2010-11, and were losing finalists in 2012-13 and again in 2018-19. If they can maintain their current form, the Bruins could be helping themselves to their seventh title.
From +2500 Outsiders to +500 Favorites
Head coach Jim Montgomery has turned his team around from rank outsiders for the Stanley Cup to one of the best NHL bets you can make this season. Through 43 regular season games, the Bruins boast a 34-5-4 record, have scored 166 goals, and allowed only 94. The Bruins’ +77 goal difference is almost double that of the New Jersey Devils on +40. If Montgomery’s Bruins can continue at the same pace, they are on for a 137-point season, which would smash the long-standing record of 132 points in a season, set in 1977 by the Montreal Canadiens. Indeed, there is plenty of hockey to be played between now and the end of the season, but the Bruins are not showing any signs of slowing down.
The age-defying performances of veteran David Krejci are one of the reasons the Bruins are flying high and fear nobody in the league. The 36-year-old racked up his 1,000th game in the NHL, all for the Bruins, on January 16 when he and his teammates took on the Philadelphia Flyers. There was no pomp to mark the occasion, although the crowd gave Krejci a raucous standing ovation.
Influential Krejci Continues Pulling the Strings
Those Flyers fans that applauded Krejci before the start of the game will wish they hadn’t, as Krejci helped the Bruins dismantle the Flyers 6-0, with Krejci instrumental in the emphatic victory. With the three assists against the Flyers, Krejci has 11 goals and 23 assists (34 points) in the 38 games he’s played. It is an incredible return, especially for someone of Krejci’s age.
This Bruins roster is vastly experienced, and they are all singing from the same hymn sheet. Perhaps some of them think this is their last legitimate chance of lifting the coveted Stanley Cup and are overperforming as a result. Whatever the reason for the Bruins’ upturn in form, you can bet your bottom dollar their fans will have everything crossed that they can keep up this frenetic pace in the second-half of the campaign.
If Not the Bruins, Who?
Reigning champions, the Colorado Avalanche, are the second-favorites for the Stanley Cup despite an indifferent start to the 2022-23 season. The Avalanche are 22-17-3 through 42 games after finishing the last campaign with a 56-19-7 record. You should never write off the chances of a team as talented as the Avalanche, but they need to stop losing as many games because their points tally is hardly awe-inspiring.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs are neck-and-neck in the latest Stanley Cup betting markets. The Golden Knights are flying high in the Pacific Division, leading the Seattle Kraken by two points, while the Maple Leafs would be at the Atlantic Division’s summit if it was not for the Bruins’ ridiculous form.