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Sunday, February 5, 2023

A closer look at the Bruins’ and Celtics’ sizzling starts at TD Garden



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They’re a combined 20-1 at home this season.

TD Garden has treated fans to many wins early this season. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

If you’ve attended a Bruins or Celtics home game this season, there’s a very, very good chance you saw the local team win – a 95.24 percent chance, to be exact.

The Bruins, following their come-from-behind, 3-2 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday afternoon, are 12-0-0 at TD Garden. Yes, that’s officially the best home start in NHL history.

The Celtics, who rallied themselves to earn a 122-104 victory over the Sacramento Kings later that day, are now 8-1 at home. That’s tied for the fewest losses at home in the NBA this season.

The Bruins have outscored their opponents, 49-20, at home, but they have had some close calls as well. Boston outlasted the Anaheim Ducks, 2-1, in a shootout, the Minnesota Wild, 4-3, in overtime, and, most recently, the Hurricanes after trailing 2-0 through one period.

They have the best record in the NHL overall, and the main reason why is their stellar play at home. The Bruins are 6-3 on the road and have outscored their opponents by a combined nine goals.

Of course, there’s tons of season left, but for those curious, the best home record in NHL history, percentage-wise, belongs to the 33-1-6 (.825) 1976-77 Montréal Canadiens. The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings have the most home wins ever with 36.

The Bruins’ franchise records are a .776 percentage in 1970-71 and 33 wins both that year and in 1973-74. Both will be difficult but seem attainable.

While this scorching start is unheard of, they have had success at home in recent memory. Boston was 26-13-2 at TD Garden last year and 18-7-3 the year prior.

They’re in for a tough three-game stretch in the coming weeks, as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, and Vegas Golden Knights in a span of six days. After that is a three-game road trip.

The Celtics, meanwhile, have outscored their opponents by an average of 10.2 points per game at home. Their lone loss at TD Garden came to the Cleveland Cavaliers, in overtime, back in October. Since then, they’ve won seven straight at TD Garden.

The Phoenix Suns (10-1), Golden State Warriors (9-1), and Cavaliers (8-1) are all dominating at home as well. Boston currently has the best overall record in the NBA at 15-4.

For context, the 1985-86 Celtics and 2015-16 San Antonio Spurs have the best home record ever at 40-1, so it’s highly unlikely the Celtics will hit that mark. They do have a chance to post their best home record at home since 2016-17, when they were 30-11. They were 28-13 at home both last year and in 2018-19.

The Celtics host the Washington Wizards on Sunday at 6 p.m., then the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat twice in a row.

Yes, the Bruins’ and Celtics’ combined 20-1 mark at home is the best record when combining NHL and NBA teams for specific cities.



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