Bruins report card: Grading every player at the halfway point of the season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Bruins have played 41 games as of Friday, which means they are officially at the halfway point of the 2022-23 NHL season.
Most people thought the Bruins would be a very good team this season and likely make the playoffs. Few could have predicted they would be on pace to break the records for most points and most wins by any team in league history. Boston has a 32-5-4 record, putting the Original Six franchise on pace for 136 points and 64 wins.
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The Bruins have a 9-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs for the best overall record. The B's lead the league with 154 goals scored and 88 goals against (20 fewer than the next-best team). They also own the third-best power play and top-ranked penalty kill. Jim Montgomery has done a fantastic job in his first year as Bruins head coach, too.
As you might imagine, most Bruins players have met or exceeded expectations thus far. Let's look at midseason grades for every Bruins player who's played 20 or more games.
David Pastrnak, RW
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Stats: 32 G, 26 A in 41 GP
Pastrnak is having his best NHL season at the perfect time given his contractual situation. He's on pace to tally 115 points, which would be the highest of any Bruins player since 1992-93. He's also on track to score 60-plus goals (64, to be exact) -- something no Bruins forward has done since Phil Esposito in 1974-75. Pastrnak ranks second among all players with 32 goals and tied for fourth in scoring with 58 points.
Linus Ullmark, G
Stats: 22-2-1, .938 SV%, 1.88 GAA
Ullmark is the favorite for the Vezina Trophy.
He leads all goalies in wins, save percentage, goals against average and goals saved above average (26.31). Ullmark has been remarkably consistent, too, allowing two goals or fewer in 20 of his 27 appearances. He's given up more than three goals in just one game.
Ullmark going from a very good goalie to a consistently elite goalie is the primary reason why the Bruins have dominated the league over the first half of the season.
Stats: 15 G, 18 A in 41 GP
Bergeron shows almost no signs of slowing down at age 37. He is on track to score 20 goals for the 10th consecutive season. His defense has continued to be elite, too. The Bruins have allowed just nine goals during his 483:43 of 5-on-5 ice time, which is the best mark in the league among players with 450-plus 5-on-5 minutes. Bergeron also hasn't missed a single game yet this season.
Hampus Lindholm, D
Stats: 5 G, 23 A in 41 GP
Lindholm's offensive talent has been unlocked in Montgomery's system. He's being more aggressive in jumping into the play and creating scoring chances. The results have been 28 points in 41 games, putting him on pace to shatter his previous career high of 31 set in 2014-15. Lindholm also has been strong defensively -- the Bruins account for 55 percent of all shot attempts and 66 percent of all goals during his 5-on-5 ice time. The Swedish defenseman contributes over two minutes per game on the power play and penalty kill, too, showing his full all-around value to the team.
David Krejci, C
Stats: 11 G, 20 A in 36 GP
Krejci has exceeded expectations offensively with 31 points in 36 games. He has a realistic chance of getting to 20 goals for just the fifth time in his career. He's also been a great fit on the second line with Pastrnak -- their chemistry is brilliant. Boston needed an upgrade at second-line center over Erik Haual and Krejci has done the job tremendously.
Brad Marchand, LW
Stats: 13 G, 24 A in 33 GP
The first couple weeks after Marchand returned were a struggle for him at 5-on-5. Most of his early points came on the power play. But since Christmas, Marchand is tied for the team lead in 5-on-5 points with seven in eight games. Overall, he's on pace to score above a point-per-game for the seventh straight campaign. Even at age 34, Marchand remains the league's most complete left wing.
Jake DeBrusk, LW
Stats: 16 G, 14 A in 36 GP
DeBrusk's reported fibula fracture will sideline him for about a month. It's an unfortunate stroke of bad luck for the 26-year-old forward, who was enjoying the best season of his career.
DeBrusk was on pace to score 36 goals -- nine more than his career high 27. He also was the hero of the 2023 Winter Classic, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park. In addition to his scoring uptick, DeBrusk has been a more complete two-way player and has even contributed to the penalty kill. He's thriving under Montgomery, and we should expect that to continue after his return from injury.