NHL Playoff Picture 2023: Bruins Clinch East’s No. 1 Seed; Latest Bracket, Standings

NHL Playoff Picture 2023: Bruins Clinch East’s No. 1 Seed; Latest Bracket, Standings
Erin WalshMarch 31, 2023

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 21: Linus Ullmark #35 and Jeremy Swayman #1 of the Boston Bruins celebrate after a win against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden on March 21, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by China Wong/NHLI via Getty Images)

China Wong/NHLI via Getty Images

The Boston Bruins have locked up home-ice advantage through the entirety of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, clinching the Presidents’ Trophy with the best overall record following a 2-1 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.



The @NHLBruins have clinched the 2022-23 Presidents’ Trophy! pic.twitter.com/za24pNjDNK

This is the second time since 2020 and third time since 2014 that Boston has won the Presidents’ Trophy. The team also won it in 1990.

With the Bruins having locked up the top seed in the Eastern Conference and the best overall record, let’s take a look at the updated standings.

Eastern Conference Standings

Atlantic Division

  1. Boston Bruins: 58-12-5, 121 points (clinched Presidents’ Trophy)
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs: 44-20-10, 98 points (clinched playoffs)
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning: 44-26-6, 94 points

Metropolitan Division

  1. Carolina Hurricanes: 47-17-9, 103 points (clinched playoffs)
  2. New Jersey Devils: 47-20-8, 102 points (clinched playoffs)
  3. New York Rangers: 44-21-10, 98 points (clinched playoffs)

Eastern Conference Wild Card

  1. New York Islanders: 39-28-9, 87 points 
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins: 36-28-10, 84 points

Western Conference Standings

Central Division

  1. Minnesota Wild: 44-22-9, 97 points
  2. Dallas Stars: 40-20-14, 94 points
  3. Colorado Avalanche: 44-24-6, 94 points

Pacific Division

  1. Vegas Golden Knights: 46-22-6, 98 points (clinched playoffs)
  2. Los Angeles Kings: 43-21-10, 96 points
  3. Edmonton Oilers: 43-23-9, 95 points

Western Conference Wild Card

  1. Seattle Kraken: 40-25-8, 88 points
  2. Winnipeg Jets: 41-31-3, 85 points

The Bruins have been the best team in the NHL since the puck dropped on the 2022-23 season back in October.

Boston’s initial success was somewhat surprising as many were expecting the team to struggle out of the gate because of injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand, among others.

However, the Black and Gold quickly changed that narrative with tremendous goaltending from Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, scoring up and down the lineup and stellar defensive play.

Ullmark is likely to be a candidate for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender after posting a 37-6-1 record, 1.90 goals-against average and .937 save percentage. He and Swayman could also win the William M. Jennings Trophy as the best goaltending tandem in the league.

David Pastrnak, meanwhile, became Boston’s first 50-goal scorer since Cam Neely in 1994 with 53 goals in 75 games. He has also tallied 46 assists.

Beyond Pastrnak, the Bruins have 11 players with double-digits in goals, including Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk.

Additionally, three of Boston’s defensemen—Hampus Lindholm, Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo—lead the NHL in plus-minus.

But while the Bruins have the Presidents’ Trophy locked up, it’s viewed as more of a curse than a blessing. The last team to win the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season was the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13.

Still, it’s expected to be a long postseason for Boston, and the Bruins are going to do everything they can to keep their historic season rolling and bring the Stanley Cup back to the city for the first time since 2011.

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