Free Washer | The inimitable Bruins recipe

The Boston Bruins are a unique analytical phenomenon. Faced with their success, opposing organizations will no doubt want to imitate them… at their peril!

This team recently became the second in history to reach the 30-win milestone so quickly. It took the Bruins just 38 games to do so. They thus equaled the Canadian’s feat in 1944-1945, in the midst of World War II, with his formidable trio of Maurice Richard, Elmer Lach and Toe Blake!

But not even Rocket Richard and his gang had managed to break the 36-game record set by… the Bruins in 1929-1930, and led by one Art Ross, whose name bears the quintessential bench trophy.

The recipe of the Bruins, first overall with a record of 36-5-4, is outside the box. This team hasn’t made the top 12 since Dougie Hamilton, the ninth overall pick, in 2011.

Their first two centres, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, aged 37 and 36 respectively, receive a basic salary of 2.5m and 1m (this amount will increase to 5m and 3m with bonuses). This is already a bargain due to their production. Krejci has 37 points in 40 games and Bergeron 36 points in 45 games.

David Pastrnak, 26, the team’s big offensive star with 63 points, including 35 goals, in 45 games, was picked 25thAnd only in 2014. Pastrnak, fourth scorer in the NHL this winter, is second in his class in career points behind Leon Draisaitl. Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, Draisaitl, Sam Bennett and Michael Dal Colle made top five picks that year.

Brad Marchand, 34, a lowly third-round pick in 2006, is likely on his way to the Hall of Fame. At 27, he had never amassed more than 55 points in a season. He has 549 points in his last 457 fights…

On defense, their top defenseman, Charlie McAvoy, 25, was drafted in the 14And degree in 2016. He had been highly recommended by their personnel manager, John Ferguson Jr., because he had close ties to the McAvoy family. The young man’s grandfather did plumbing work for Ferguson Jr.’s father. Ferguson managed to get the Bruins to change course the day before the draft. They were going to choose Dante Fabbro.

The other mainstay of the Bruins defense, Hampus Lindholm, was acquired in exchange for promising young defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, a first-round pick and two second-round picks. You never sacrifice so much choice when your core is aging, but the Bruins can afford it, they walk on water…

In goal, many were surprised when Don Sweeney awarded goaltender Linus Ullmark $20 million over four years in July 2021. Ullmark, 29, was however associated with the Buffalo Sabers’ setbacks between 2018 and 2021. There is no best goaltender in the NHL this year. Ullmark is 24-2-1 with a 1.88 GAA and . 937 save percentage.

The Bruins have achieved such a level of excellence even as they failed miserably in their 2015 reinstatement attempt by successively drafting Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk and Zachary Senyshyn among the 13And and on the 15thAnd rank, ahead of Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, Thomas Chabot, Joel Eriksson Ek, Brock Boeser and Sebastian Aho, among others.

Zboril and Senyshyn are the only players drafted in the top 25 that year who did not play in at least 100 NHL games. The Bruins, whose draft was led at the time by Keith Gretzky, now in Edmonton, also had three second-round picks. They must have at least gotten their hands on Brandon Carlo.

President Cam Neely and his CEO Sweeney also handle the ceiling tactfully. McAvoy alone (9.5 million) receives an annual salary of more than 6.6 million. Pastrnak, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, will join and likely surpass him even if he signs a contract extension…

New head coach Jim Montgomery was given a second chance at Boston after he was fired midseason at Dallas in 2019 due to his alcohol addiction issues.

An organization may very well try to imitate them, but one wonders how it would do it. The Bruins management must guard their own library closely…

*All salaries were sourced from

Ivan Provorov conquers fans

Days after facing controversy for refusing to attend a warm-up session in a jersey in support of the LBGT community, defender Ivan Provorov has won over some fans. His Flyers jersey is now sold out on the internet, on the NHL website and on Fanatics, Mark Harris tells us. Only size XS would still be available.

Coach John Tortorella added to that Thursday by once again coming to the defense of Provorov, the most used player that night.

However, he was not asked to dress up as a drag queen, only to wear a sweater made for an activity set up by his own teammates in order to raise public awareness of a group still too often denigrated. There’s still a long way to go, we have to believe it, and not just in the locker room…

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