Boston, Massachusetts has been the greatest sports city in America since the turn of the 21st century. Since 2000, Boston has boasted 15 championships across the 5 major sports. Six from the Patriots, four from the Red Sox, three from the revolution and 1 a piece from the Celtics and Bruins. With easily the most amount of hardware of any city in America, plus the uncontested fanatic atmosphere surrounding it, Boston has been integral in the United States sports folklore over the past two decades.
Unfortunately, what seemed to be a pattern of at least one championship every year or two, has slowed down to a screeching hault, with Boston's last title coming in 2018 when the Patriots defeated the Rams in Super Bowl 53. The Red Sox last triumph was 2018, the Bruins in 2011, the Celtics in 2008 and the Revolution in 2007.
Over the past 4 years, the Celtics have been the best of the bunch with one finals appearance and 2 conference finals appearances, sadly without finishing the season off yet. The Patriots failed to make it past the Wild Card round since their Super Bowl run 5 years ago, while the Red Sox have made a singular ALCS appearance since their 4-year old last World Series title.
One of the saddest stories involving Boston sports were the Boston Bruins latest campaign, where they broke the single season points and wins record, but choked a 3-1 lead in the first round of the playoffs. This was destined to be the Bruins first Stanley Cup since their famous 2011 run, and now will be remembered as one of the biggest letdowns in this city's legendary history.
So where do we go from here?
The quickest answer would be to say the Bruins and Celtics should keep on track and eventually a championship for one or both should be imminent. Unfortunately for both, it seems their championship window is either closing or slammed shut on them this year. The Red Sox have had a pattern of a championship every four-or-five years followed by bottom-feeding in the AL East until their next run, (where they seem to be this season) and the Patriots haven't made any bold, franchise-saving moves since Brady's departure and may finish at the bottom of their division for the first time since the year 2000.
Let's take a look at each team individually and rank the best chance of success is in the short term.
1. Boston Bruins
Make no mistake, the Boston Bruins will still be Stanley Cup favorites heading into next season, even without Krejci and Bergeron if the latter does decide to retire. The Bruins are an incredibly talented and young team with the necessary cap space to bring back all of their key players this offseason.
Led by David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Linus Ullmark, this core group of superstars should be at the center of a continuing dynasty for Boston for years to come with the exception of Brad Marchand at 35. This team may have taken a hit losing their captain and one of the best 2nd line scorers in the NHL, but along with the additions made midseason this year, the Bruins have a very stable and exciting group of players that should compete at the top of their division for a long time and hopefully not lose in the first round of the playoffs too many more times.
2. Boston Celtics
The Celtics are one of the best teams in the NBA and have been for the last half-decade. The "J's" have been the focal point of a dominant offensive team and that team will allow them to go to the Eastern Conference Finals for as long as they are together. The question is; How long will they stay together for?
This question has came up in each of the last three offseason and will no doubt be asked again once the dust settles after the NBA Finals. Jaylen Brown will be an unrestricted Free Agent after next season and at 28 years old, is expected to sign a max deal wherever he goes, no doubt topping his 4 year- $106 million he signed back in 2020. Alongside other huge contracts like Tatum's 5 year- $163 million he signed in 2021, the Celtics have the ability to resign Brown, but it will take some tough restructuring of the roster.
That being said, keeping this roster together will at least get the team to another ECF, which would make 5 in the last 6 years, but is that their ceiling? If you ask us it's not, Brown is 26 and Tatum is 25 and will only be better three years from now especially alongside each other. The team should keep them together as a top-5 duo in the NBA and most likely win a title for Boston before their times are up.
3. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are the most frustrating team in New England BY FAR and have been for the better part of 20 years. At least before the turn of the millennium we knew they weren't going to win and didn't get our hopes up, but now every year we have to toy with the possibility of being great just for it to either end in heartbreak or a last place ending in the AL East like in 2020 and 2022.
This team certainly has pieces that could set them up for championship runs, unfortunately over the last four years or so, the team has been hindered by bad contracts, at times poor management and injuries. The Chris Sale experiment was amazing for about a cup of coffee and did lead to the 2018 World Series, but since then has resulted in an average of 12 starts per year without a season under a 3.00 ERA and $90 million dollars that wasn't spent keeping Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts or JD Martinez.
The team has been top tier when not rattled by injuries but they have not been able to really make it over the hump under CBO Chaim Bloom, who has been at the helm of the team since 2020. The pieces are there in the lineup with some starting pitchers being above average, but the team is at least two year away from being back in the World Series, and needs to be very smart and savvy if they plan to be back there at all.
4. New England Patriots
These are not your father's Patriots anymore. Since Tom Brady left before the 2020 season, the Pats have made the playoffs once as a Wild Card team and been under .500 the other two seasons. Brady's heir apparent Mac Jones seems to have taken a step back form his impressive rookie season, but may bounce back now that he has a true offensive coordinator in Bill O'Brien.
Let's face it, the Patriots will be fighting not to come in last of their division in 2023. That's not to say they are a bad team because they aren't, unfortunately for them the departure of Tom Brady coincided with the arrival of every other team in the AFC East. With the Jets signing Aaron Rodgers, the Patriots now have the worst starting quarterback in their division barring another concussion from Tua Tagovailoa.
This roster is talented and had a very successful offseason by bringing in young players, but the team just feels like they are in rebuilding mode and may wait out Aaron Rodgers and Tua's prime years. With Bill Billichick probably entering his last season either this year or next, the horizon looks like it could be getting farther and farther away for the Pats.