Raise your hand if you’ve been staying up late for the last week to watch Bruins games without having one sip of coffee to do so. Anyone? No? Just me. Okay then.
Anyway, here’s a look at the way things stand after 60 games (through Wednesday night’s action in Anaheim) for the Boston Bruins.
Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are in the fight of their lives to lay claim to the status as the best goal scorer for the Bruins this season. Marchand is on track to edge Pastrnak in the scoring race this season with Boston with 72 points to Pastrnak’s 64. However, Pastrnak is apt to leading Marchand in goals scored at season’s end, as shown below.
Additionally, the line of Patrice Bergeron, Marchand and David Backes has shown signs of being like the days of Bergeron, Marchand and Mark Recchi at times. More statistical evaluation, as well as the eye test, will yield further analysis, but there’s something promising about the likes of Bergeron and Marchand working with the power forward who’s not afraid to go to the net (Backes) in the chemistry that seems natural.
Other bright spots include career years for Frank Vatrano and Torey Krug, as well as a tremendous offensive output for the usually goal scoring inept, Adam McQuaid— everything is relative, keep in mind.
On pace for three goals, McQuaid is in the midst of perhaps his most all around season as the guy who’s lovable in the locker room, will beat you up on the ice and knows and plays his role well enough to contribute when he can in a full 60 minute effort.
The continued transition from Claude Julien to Bruce Cassidy will show more results in the next 20 games, but as shown in the data so far, the Cassidy era Bruins will be better off at offensive production and efficiency.
After deciding on a backup (though Don Sweeney has indicated an interest in acquiring a backup at the trade deadline on March 1st, if available), the Bruins are rolling with Anton Khudobin playing behind Tuukka Rask.
Rask might end up appearing in 69 games this season, which, granted is better than 70+ games, is still not ideal for balancing work and play (or more appropriately, rest). He is still on pace for a GAA of 2.12 and a save percentage of .923. Both of which are impressive in light of the last couple of seasons.
Boston Bruins Projections- Through game 60 of 82
For comparison, here’s how the Bruins were projected to do at Game 0 of 82 (prior to the start of the 2016-2017 regular season):