By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
With the 2019-20 regular season effectively over, the National Hockey League made it official on Thursday, awarding the Presidents’ Trophy to the Boston Bruins by way of their league-leading 100 points at the time of the pause.
In what was their first Presidents’ Trophy win since 2013-14, the Bruins pushed themselves to the 100-point mark behind what was a league-leading 44 wins, and with an NHL-best 38 of those wins coming in regulation. The Bruins were the only team in the league to reach the 100-point plateau before the season’s suspension, with the second-best Blues six points behind Boston.
“On behalf of the entire Boston Bruins organization, I would like to express how proud we are of our players, coaches, trainers and hockey operations staff for winning the Presidents’ Trophy,” Bruins President Cam Neely said in a statement. “From the start of the regular season, until the pause, our group was focused and determined every day when they came to work. Although the regular season did not end the way anyone hoped, we are honored to win this award for the second time in seven years.”
This marks the third time that the B’s have captured the Presidents’ Trophy since its inception in the 1985-86 season. The Bruins failed to win the Stanley Cup in both of those prior Presidents’ seasons, losing to the Oilers in the 1990 Stanley Cup Final and in the second round to the Canadiens in 2014, and no Prez-winning team has won the Cup since the 2013 Blackhawks. In fact, no Presidents’ Trophy-winning squad has made it out of the second round since the 2015 Rangers. And though curses remain all the rage, this all means nothing to this year’s Bruins, of course. Perhaps especially so when you consider the four-month layoff that’ll come between games if and when hockey successfully resumes this summer. At the very worst, it’s just another year added to a banner that I swear the Bruins almost try to hide behind a speaker at TD Garden.
But the Presidents’ Trophy isn’t the only hardware coming Boston’s way. In a tie with the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin at the top of the goal leaderboard, Bruins winger David Pastrnak captured the first Rocket Richard win of his NHL career with a league-leading 48 goals, while the Tuukka Rask-Jaroslav Halak tandem became the third duo in B’s history (and first since 2008-09) to capture the William Jennings Trophy as the league’s stingiest pair in net.
“I would also like to congratulate David Pastrnak for winning the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy and Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak for winning the William M. Jennings Trophy,” Neely added. “David, Tuukka and Jaro each had incredible seasons, and while these awards are given to individuals, I know they would be quick to acknowledge the entire team and coaching staff for their accomplishments.”
This likely isn’t the end of the B’s awards, or nominations for awards at the very least, as Rask will find himself in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender while Pastrnak should get some love for the Hart Trophy. And then there’s Patrice Bergeron, who has been a constant in the Selke Trophy race for a decade now.