NHL Playoff Clinch: Boston Bruins

Playoffs are closing in and just 5 teams have clinched a spot. The fifth team to do so was the Boston Bruins. Let’s the Bruins’ season.

The Boston Bruins are an elite team in the hockey world. They have amazing and charismatic players that give the team such an air of importance. They’ve proved their greatness with multiple playoff appearances and a Stanley Cup back in 2011. This season has not been an easy fleet for the Bruins.

Let’s go back to the 10 games, where the Bruins hosted a record of 6-2-2. In total the team scored 34 goals for (9 power play goals, 1 short-handed) and 24 goals against (7 power play, 1 short-handed). They started out strong on the ice, dominant and offensively alive.

Skipping forward to the half way point of the Bruins’ season, the team had a 23-14-4 record after 41 games. With 120 goals for (37 power play, 1 short-handed) and 109 goals against (24 power play goals, 9 short-handed), the team was battling hard to keep their heads above water. Their play on the ice was improving, they improved their Corsi For %percent just a little up to 51.8%, meaning that they we’re getting better at controlling the puck.

Now the Bruins are 75 games in, a record of 46-20-9. The team has 233 goals (60 power play, 13 short-handed) for and 189 goals against (42 power play, 13 short-handed). They have soared in this last stretch, constantly growing and finding new ways to beat the opposition. 

Key Players

Leading in goals the Bruins have David Pastrnak (33), Brad Marchand (32), and Patrice Bergeron (31). Points leaders: Brad Marchand (92), Patrice Bergeron (73), and David Pastrnak (70). 

David Pastrnak has been on fire this season. In 59 games, Pastrnak has 33 goals, 37 assists, totaling him to 70 points. Pastrnak has a +7. Pastrnak is a flawless goalscorer in any situation: of his 33 goals 15 are power play goals and 18 are even strength. The 22 year only is durable, averaging 18:52 on the ice a game. He’s a big player (6’0″ and 194 lbs) that has a high hockey IQ, leading to most of this team’s victories.

It wouldn’t be the Boston Bruins without Brad Marchand. Marchand is known for his rat-like face and style of play. He’s a small guy at a whopping 5’9″, 181 lbs, and he’s not afraid to get in anyone’s face to piss them off. Marchand backs up his pest ways with actual skill. He’s another player that can score and help out as well. Marchand has 32 goals, 60 assists, equaling to 92 points and a +18 rating. Marchand leads the Bruins in penalty minutes with 92 penalty minutes . Marchand also leads the team in game winning goals with 8, this season alone.

What to Watch

Watch out for penalties of any kind. The Bruins convert 25.97% on the time on the power play and kill 81% of penalties. They’re deadly either way so at best, hope it becomes a penalty-less game. But the Bruins are aggressive and the games get intense. So that idea is out the window.

The Bruins’ goal tending is another strong point for them. Veteran goaltender, Tuukka Rask, has a record of 26-10-5 this season with a save percentage of .918 and a goals against average of 2.35 a game. Even Rask isn’t one to be trifled with, he’s been known to get chippy as well.

Basically: Avoid Penalties, Tuukka Rask, and getting licked and you should be good.

The Bruins will be a dangerous competition this year. It’s looking like they’ll t-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs and this game will become a test of will. A team silenced early last year vs a team that has been more chasing glory, The Bruins will have some highlight reel plays into this playoff season.

First To Clinch: Tampa Bay Lightning

Second To Clinch: Calgary Flames

Third To Clinch: San Jose Sharks

Fourth To Clinch: Winnipeg Jets

Fifth To Clinch: Boston Bruins

Sixth To Clinch: Nashville Predators

Featured Image: AP Images
Stats from: Hockey Reference