It seemed like an impossible task for the 2023-24 Boston Bruins to match what the record-breaking 2022-23 squad did in the regular season.
But the B's are off to a pretty good start right now.
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In fact, they are 5-0-0 for the first time since the 1937-38 campaign -- that's 86 years ago. The Bruins, after beating the Ducks 3-1 on Sunday night, also broke their own NHL record for the best start to a season by a reigning Presidents' Trophy winner. Their 5-0-0 record surpasses the 4-0-0 start they had in 1990-91 as the reigning Presidents' Trophy winner.
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When the Bruins earned records of 65 wins and 135 points last season, they started out 4-1-0 through five games. After losing their fourth game, the B's won seven straight and 14 of their next 15 to start out 17-2-0.
It's important to note the Bruins have not faced the best competition so far this season. They have played three teams -- the Sharks, Ducks and Blackhawks -- expected to finish at or near the bottom of the standings. They also beat a Nashville Predators team that wasn't picked by many people to make the playoffs. Boston's best win came Saturday with a 4-2 result against a very good and physical Kings squad.
So it'll be interesting to see how the Bruins fare once the schedule gets more difficult, and it will soon. After matchups with the Blackhawks and Ducks on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, the B's play the red-hot Red Wings (twice), Panthers, Leafs, Stars and Islanders from Oct. 28 through Nov. 9.
If the Bruins come out of that stretch in really good shape, then we can start talking about this team as a real threat to finish atop the Atlantic Division again. They could still end up being a first-place team regardless, but a string of positive results against those quality teams would be pretty impressive.