Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara (USA TODAY Sports)
My first article on this site was a prediction piece on who I thought would lead the Bruins in stat categories at the end of the year. Well, we’re halfway there and it seems like most of them are holding up decently, but I’ll admit I have a couple ones that are way off. Here’s an update and look back at what I thought would happen at the start of the year. (Here’s the link to the original article)
My Prediction: Brad Marchand (40-43)
Current Leader: Brad Marchand (18)
I believe that Marchand can hold onto the lead. He has also played 8 games less than David Pastrnak and has one more goal than him. My darkhorse for this category is Patrice Bergeron. His four-goal game against Carolina helped him leap into the solo third spot with 16 goals.
My Prediction: Torey Krug (44-47)
Current Leader: Brad Marchand (23)
Torey Krug has struggled at times this season and has looked like he’s having a worse season offensively compared to some of his other seasons. Marchand, on the other hand, is taking over almost every offensive category. He’s really evolved over the years into an offensive star.
My Prediction: Patrice Bergeron (18-21)
Current Leader: Zdeno Chara (21)
Chara and McAvoy have one of the best line Goals For/Goals Against as a defensive pairing with 25 goals for and 11 goals against. Chara looks like he isn’t letting a decreasing speed slow him down defensively. Bergeron is just two behind Chara, so my original prediction still has a pretty good chance of coming true. And with the Bergeron/Marchand/Pastrnak line playing as well as they are now, Bergeron has a great opportunity for adding to his +/- total.
My Prediction: David Backes (220-230)
Current Leader: Charlie McAvoy (96)
This one is tricky since Backes has only been able to play 25 games this year. But from what we have seen so far from McAvoy and his style of physical yet skilled play, he could be the leader come the last game of the season. But with both Chara and Miller close on his tail, I’d say that this is going to come down to whether or not Miller gets more Time On Ice than he is now.
Faceoff Win %
My Prediction: Patrice Bergeron (57.5% – 59.75%)
Current Leader: Patrice Bergeron (57.3%)
As expected, Bergeron is leading the Bruins in FOW%. Again. He should hold onto the lead the rest of the season.
Power Play Goals
My Prediction: David Pastrnak (9 – 11)
Current Leader: Brad Marchand/David Pastrnak (6)
I’ve said this before, but Pastrnak has really turned into an Ovechkin-like player on the power play, waiting near the top of the top left faceoff circle for that perfect one-timer. Marchand has also been very successful on the PP so far this year with his ability to move the puck effectively. The Bruins currently have the 11th best power play with 20.7%, and it looks like it will keep getting better and better with more time of practicing in the same system.
Time On Ice Per Game Played
My Prediction: Charlie McAvoy (21:50-23:00)
Current Leader: Zdeno Chara (23:23)
Chara continues to show that he deserves at least another year on the Bruins roster when his current contract is up. He is playing at a level where he can lead his team in both +/- and TOI, and do it all at 40 years old. A player comparison of ice time for Chara is Aaron Ekblad, the 21-year-old on the Florida Panthers. Ekblad won the Calder back in the 2014-15 season. He has an average TOI of 23:54. Chara is playing close to the same amount of time per game as someone half his age. I believe that with Boston now at a 99.56% of making the playoffs, Bruce Cassidy will let Chara take a shift or two off when it gets closer to playoff time to rest him, letting McAvoy take over as top spot of the TOI category.
My Prediction: Brad Marchand (84-87)
Current Leader: Brad Marchand (41)
Marchand leads in both goals and assists, so it’s pretty clear to see that he leads in points, and he should. He’s currently playing at 1.21 points per game, and on that pace, he’d easily hit my 84-87 point prediction, and maybe go over.
Power Play Points
My Prediction: David Pastrnak (26-28)
Current Leader: David Pastrnak (14)
As I was saying before, Pastrnak is great on the man advantage. He may even pass the original prediction and make it closer to 30-32 points.
My Prediction: Brad Marchand (9-10)
Current Leader: Jake DeBrusk (3)
This is the most surprising stat so far. Especially since DeBrusk only has 10 goals total. My original pick of Marchand isn’t too far off since he is only one away at two GWG. I don’t see DeBrusk’s lead holding up.
My Prediction: Sean Kuraly (2-4)
Current Leader: Brad Marchand (1)
This was the boldest prediction that I made. I’m wrong on the prediction because…
- The Bruins have only won one game in overtime this season and are 3-8 when games go to overtime/shootout
- Brad Marchand is the only Bruin to score in an Overtime period this season
- Sean Kuraly doesn’t play all that much when it does go to OT
Probably not my smartest prediction, but I’m sticking to it. Hey, maybe that’s why they don’t win as much in OT. Not enough Kuraly.
My Prediction: Patrice Bergeron (290-310)
Current Leader: Patrice Bergeron (137)
Bergeron is a master at getting opportunities to the net. Many players have great shots and seem to shoot a lot, but Bergeron just seems to get the puck into the goalie almost everytime. He has 24 more shots than the 2nd place player (Pastrnak) in five fewer games. Just great stuff from someone who is thought of as a defensive player.
My Prediction: Brad Marchand (85-89)
Current Leader: Kevan Miller (56)
Marchand hasn’t been suspended, fined or even gotten into an actual fight this year. He seems to be a slightly changed man. Now he’s just an agitator instead of an agitator that gets penalized. On the other hand, Miller has stepped into the role of the designated fighter with four majors so far this season. I expect him to continue to lead the team in this category unless McQuaid comes back from injury with a grudge. He’s racked up 12 PIMs in only six games played, and even when he comes back he may not try to fight as much to avoid re-injuring himself.
My Prediction: Riley Nash (6-8)
Current Leader: Brad Marchand (2)
Riley Nash hasn’t registered a single point shorthanded this season. It seems like shorthanded production as a whole is down for the Bruins this season, with only three SHG scored all season. Marchand will probably continue to lead this category like he does with the majority of the points/offensive categories.
So far I’m 6/14 on my picks this season. Not great. But then again, it wouldn’t have been much fun if I had just chosen Marchand for 10 of them. Oh well.
Sources: Leftwinglock.com, NHL.com, FOXsports.com, Moneypuck.com, Hockeyfights.com, ESPN.com