r1158118 1296x729 16 9 - Replay Madness

It’s quite a flex to decide you’re going to shatter NHL records because, essentially, you’re bored.

But that only underscores how stupidly dominant the Boston Bruins have been this season.

Brad Marchand told me several weeks ago that his team didn’t really care about the NHL single-season records for wins (63) and points (133). “Before this season, if you asked any of the guys on this team who owned any of those records, nobody would know, because nobody cares. Because it’s not about the regular season,” Marchand said. “As soon as somebody brings it up, it’s in one ear and out the other.”

On Sunday, the Bruins set a new wins record. They set a new points record on Tuesday, breaking one established by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. They had already clinched a playoff spot on March 11 and secured the President’s Trophy 19 days later.

Marchand admitted the Bruins started collecting NHL records like Pokémon because they had nothing else better to do before the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“We did set our sights on it for the last little while. We had locked up first. We needed something to play for in the rest of the regular season,” he said Tuesday night. “It’s not our be-all or end-all. We’re happy about it right now, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a regular-season record.”

In other words, to be the best regular-season team of all time means exactly that, and nothing more. The Bruins, to a man, have said that postseason success is the only true validation of their greatness as a team. Other Presidents’ Trophy winners have sought that validation. Few have earned it.

Sports is laden with curses, from the Bambino to video game cover athletes. The Presidents’ Trophy hex is demonstrable: There have been 36 trophy winners; only 11 of them advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, and only eight of those teams hoisted the Cup.

Only three teams in the salary cap era (since 2005-06) have won the Presidents’ Trophy and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. The 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings and the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup. The 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks met their demise against the Bruins, who stole their dreams and left them in a smoldering pile.

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