NHL Season Reaches the Halfway Point: Bruins Tearing Up the League, Krejci plays in his 1,000th Game


Patrick Sweeney, Editor-in-Chief

Recently, the 2022-23 National Hockey League season reached the halfway mark. The season has been filled with new records being set and exciting moments for all 32 teams. One team that has garnered national attention are the Boston Bruins, who come into January 24th sporting a 37-5-4 record and 78 points, best in the NHL, per the Google Tracker. Additionally, forward David Krejci recently played in his 1,000th game, placing him 9th on the all time Bruins games played leaders

The 2022-23 season came with relatively average expectations for the Bruins hockey club, which finished fourth in the Atlantic Division a year ago with 107 points. Many sports prediction groups were relatively uncertain about the start of the Bruins’ season, with one wondering whether the team could overcome “early-season injuries.”

Most notably, the article did not mention goaltender Linus Ullmark’s name, who has become a surprise breakout star on the team. 

The Bruins’ season began on October 12, 2022 with a match against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. The team kicked off the season on the right note, triumphing 5-2 and getting strong production from Ullmark in net. 

After their initial win, the Bruins never looked back, winning 10 of their first 11 games. The nagging injuries that experts predicted had no effect, with the Bruins getting top-tier production from a diverse group of players.

Many loyal Bruins fans were overjoyed at the hot start, but still others remained skeptical. The NHL season is extremely grueling and can take a toll on players. After their first dozen games, the Bruins continued to display consistency in their gameplay. Take, for example, the Bruins’ success at TD Garden this season. The team won a club-record 14 consecutive games at home, losing their first game in a shootout to the Vegas Golden Knights on December 5th.   

Remarkably, the Bruins did not lose a home game in regulation until January 12th, faltering 3-0 against the Seattle Kraken. Head coach Jim Montgomery reacted to the charisma of the 2022-23 team to NHL.com, saying, in part, “I am really proud of the group.”

“They never quit, they never stop playing, they never stop believing…” added Montgomery, who replaced Bruce Cassidy after the 2021-22 season culminated in a first round playoff exit. 

On January 16th, veteran forward David Krejci set a new milestone, playing in his 1,000th career game. Krejci was drafted by the Bruins as their 63rd overall pick in the 2004 draft, making his debut with the team during the 2006-07 season.  

Since then, Krejci has played fifteen seasons in the NHL, all with the Bruins. This season, he has contributed 11 goals and 26 points in 41 games, good for a +16 rating. Playing in his 1,000th game on the 16th, he added 3 assists in the Bruins’ 6-0 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers. 

After the milestone, head coach Jim Montgomery had high praise for the 36-year-old. Montgomery referred to Krejci as a “Bruins legend,” adding that “he makes everyone better,” per clutchpoints.com. The Bruins are set to honor David Krejci’s milestone at TD Garden on February 20th before their match against the Ottawa Senators. 

All of this comes as the 2023 NHL All Star Weekend inches closer. This year’s festivities are set for February 3 (Skills Competition) and February 4 (All Star Game) in Sunrise, Florida. Forward David Pastrnak and goalie Linus Ullmark will be representing the Bruins. Pastrnak has 48 points in 35 games and Ullmark is sporting a 25-2-1 record, 1.82 GAA and .938 save percentage. (Stats as of January 24, 2023)