After 13 games into the 2022-23 National Hockey League regular season one of the biggest surprises is the fact that the Boston Bruins are in first place in the Atlantic Division, With all of the injuries the Bruins have had to start the year, it is stunning the Bruins have a record of 11 wins and two losses for 22 points.
Even before the regular season began, we knew Brad Marchand of Halifax, Nova Scotia would not be ready for the start of the season after recovering from double hip surgery, and defensemen Charlie McAvoy of Long Beach, New York, and Matt Grzelcyk of Charlestown, Massachusetts would miss some time as well after off-season shoulder surgeries. Since the season began, the Bruins have also lost goaltender Jeremy Swayman of Anchorage, Alaska (lower body), and defenseman Derek Forbort of Duluth, Minnesota (finger surgery).
On paper, it was believed that these injuries would have a significant impact on the Bruins’s ability to contend to start the year. However, what we have seen over the last month is just how much depth the Bruins have on their roster, and somehow and some way, they have been able to play a very high calibre of hockey.
A major reason why Boston leads the Atlantic has been the play of goaltender Linus Ullmark of Lugnvik, Sweden. He has a record of 9-1-1 (leads the NHL with nine wins), a goals against average of 2.05, save percentage of .932, and one shutout. The shutout came in a 4-0 Bruins win over the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets on October 28, in a game that saw Ullmark make 30 saves at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
We all know what kind of a superstar Marchand has been for the Bruins (Marchand returned on October 27, and has played five games so far), but his linemate David Pastrnak of Havirov, Czech Republic has been sensational. In 13 games, he has eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points. Meanwhile, Hampus Lindholm of Helsingborg, Sweden has provided offense from the Bruins defensive group with the loss of McAvoy, with four goals and nine assists for 13 points in 13 games.
Bruins getting McAvoy back
As the Bruins play the Calgary Flames on Thursday, they will get McAvoy back. Last year he had 56 points in 78 games. The Flames are ice cold at the moment as they have lost six straight games.