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With the ’17-’18 regular season fast approaching, let’s look to the future and try to figure out who will lead the Bruins in stat categories at the end of the season.
’16-’17 Leader: Brad Marchand (39) – Brad had his best seasons points-wise to date, mainly due to his speed and tenacity to get the puck. He even had 69 Hart trophy votes, along with one first-place vote. It was a great season for him and many people thought he was the Bruins most valuable player last year.
’17-’18 Leader: Brad Marchand (40-43) – Brad had a great year with offensive production last year, and I believe that he can repeat and get even better this year with Bergeron as his center again, and what looks to be either Bjork or Pastrnak on his other wing. (Looks more like Bjork)
’16-’17 Leader: Brad Marchand (46) – Along with Marchand’s goal outburst last year, he added quite a few assists to his resume. While it wasn’t the league-best number, it was the Bruins best.
’17-’18 Leader: Torey Krug (44-47) – Torey Krug was only three assists behind Brad Marchand last year, and I believe that with his offensive potential he is on his way to being one of the elite offensive defencemen in the game. His powerplay time gives him a big advantage for racking up those points.
’16-’17 Leader(s): Brad Marchand/Zdeno Chara (18) – Surprisingly, Zdeno Chara was tied with Brad Marchand for the best +/- last year. Both played first line minutes which attributed to their numbers.
’17-’18 Leader: Patrice Bergeron (18-21) – After having a “Lack-luster” 2016-2017, Patrice Bergeron is positioned to have a bounce-back season. And I say “Lack-luster” because he did win a little thing called the Frank J. Selke trophy last year. I don’t understand the hate for what he did last season. With all the potential youth coming to the lineup, Patrice won’t have to play as many minutes as he did last year. So when he does go out on the ice, he’ll be fresher and ready to get back on defense or jump up in the play and make that extra step in a chase for the puck.
’16-’17 Leader: David Backes (226) – David Backes was playing the old school, gritty Bruins style of play (That I love) last year. He used all of his 6’3 220lbs frame to get his opponents off of the puck.
’17-’18 Leader: David Backes (220-230) – The reason I don’t have Adam McQuaid here is that Backes plays more, and because of that he has more time on ice to deliver hits. If we were going with hits per TOI, you could definitely make an argument for McQuaid. But it is just total hits, so it’s should be Backes again.
Faceoff Win %
’16-’17 Leader: John-Michael Liles (100% 2/2) – Haha. No, it was really Patrice Bergeron with a mind-boggling 60.1% win percentage on 1,812 faceoffs. That is higher than elite centermen such as Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Jonathan Toews. This shows just how elite Bergeron is in the faceoff circle.
’17-’18 Leader: Patrice Bergeron (57.5%-59.75%) – Bergeron will once again top the Bruins in FOW%, and be close to the top of the league if not the 1st place player.
Power Play Goals
’16-’17 Leader: David Pastrnak (10) – Pastrnak is Ovechkin like at times with his one-timer from the faceoff dot. He also has a knack for being in the perfect backdoor position for the tap-ins. He is a force to be reckoned with when your team goes on the PK.
’17-’18 Leader: David Pastrnak (9-11) – I believe that Pastrnak will excel on the PP again this year because of the skills he is transferring over from last year to this season. He now has a full season where he has played regular time, and that can only help his potential scoring ability.
Time On Ice Per Game Played
’16-’17 Leader: Zdeno Chara (23:19) – Chara has always been known as a workhorse that pushes his body to the limits. Remember when he pounded that Coca-Cola on the bench in Game 7 Eastern Finals in 2013? He has played this game hard for so many years, and last year was no exception. With the emergence of Brandon Carlo to be his new partner, Chara played a team-high full period and a bit per game last year.
’17-’18 Leader: Charlie McAvoy (21:50-23:00) – After seeing what McAvoy was capable of in the playoffs last year (26:11 average TOI), I believe he will have no problem taking some of Chara’s time this year. Chara should play a bit fewer minutes than he did last year. You don’t see many 40-year-olds playing as much time as they did when they were younger and healthier.
’16-’17 Leader: Brad Marchand (85) – Since he led both goals and points last year, basic math can tell us that he won the points race on the B’s. He also beat the 2nd place player (Pastrnak) by 15 points.
’17-’18 Leader: Brad Marchand (84-87) – Brad has the same skills as he did last year, and is entering his prime. And what a time to hit his prime. Chara is still useful, Bergeron is coming off his fourth Selke in six years, and the young guns like Pastrnak, Carlo, Vatrano, and McAvoy are all doing well. Brad has pieces around him to add to his skills, and that is a great thing to hear for all Bruins fans.
Power Play Points
’16-’17 Leader: Torey Krug (25) – Krug played the quarterback position on the PP last year, and did a pretty good job with it. Now he wasn’t a Karlsson, but he did a very good job considering how young he is. His well-aimed shots help get rebounds to slam in, and every once in awhile, sneak in a shot of his own.
’17-’18 Leader: David Pastrnak (26-28) – Pastrnak’s style of play is geared towards a puck-possession, shooting game, and that is exactly what happens on a PP. He should have more goals than last year and should have more assists too. I believe we will see the amount of power play points rise across the league if the games are called like they are currently being called in the preseason. More powerplays = more powerplay conversions.
’16-’17 Leader: Brad Marchand (8) – Brad is pretty clutch. He scored the game-winner for Canada in the World Cup of Hockey and has scored many very timely goals throughout the year in the playoffs for the B’s.
’17-’18 Leader: Brad Marchand (9-10) – As I said before, Brad Marchand is clutch. No doubt about it. He’ll score a whole bunch of game winners, even if some of these goals don’t come in the dying seconds of the third period. He’ll get some just for his work in the second periods. Bottom line, he’ll be the leader in GWG.
’16-’17 Leader: David Pastrnak (2) – The Bruins only solved things in OT (Favourably) last year a total of four times. David Pastrnak was the reason half of those times due to his speed and quick shot release.
’17-’18 Leader: Sean Kurly (2-4) – Sean Kuraly scored a pretty clutch goal for the Bruins in overtime last year in Game 5. He also scored one other time that overtime, but it was called back. I’m not sure how much OT time he’ll play, or if he’ll be on the roster regularly, but he seems to have as good a shot as anyone on the team to be the OT hero.
’16-’17 Leader: Patrice Bergeron (302) – I still can’t believe people have said that Patrice Bergeron had an off year. I mean pointwise he dropped slightly, but he didn’t have too bad a year shot wise. He outshot the 2nd place player by forty shots. That is a pretty big difference. He definitely knows when to let a shot go.
’17-’18 Leader: Patrice Bergeron (290-310) – Bergeron will have approximately the same number of shots but over less time. He will be very efficient and get lots of chances with Marchand and whoever is on his other wing.
’16-’17 Leader: Brad Marchand (81) – Marchand’s nickname “Little Ball Of Hate” was very accurate last year. Somehow piling up 10 more minutes than the B’s “bad boy” Adam McQuaid.
’17-’18 Leader: Brad Marchand (85-89) – With Brad’s comments about how referees are calling games this preseason may cause a bit of a conflict of interest between the two parties. I expect total PIMs around the league to rise slightly, and for Brad, that should be around 4-8 more minutes.
Short Handed Points
’16-’17 Leader: Brad Marchand (5) – Brad Marchand is a speed little guy that will fly right by you when you’re backchecking to pick up a puck thrown into the corner. He used his speed to catch goalies off guard and pop a goal or two.
’17-’18 Leader: Riley Nash (6-8) – This may come as a surprise to some, but hear me out. Riley Nash plays close to the same amount of PK time as Bergeron/Marchand, and with the loss of Dominic Moore in the offseason, they’ll be putting him with someone younger, potentially a Vatrano/Spooner/Rookie like JFK or Bjork (Whichever rookie makes it) who will be speedy and can get on defencemen quick and get them to turn the puck over, creating scoring chances.