Tuesday, December 20, 2011

19 Assists for Bergeron & Peverley; NHL-Best 22 Wins; and in case you didn't know: the Bruins have depth

Peverley is a genius.

Bergeron is a genius too

The charts I posted the other night about the scoring distribution among the Bruins forwards was displayed perfectly in the game last night. The 1st line even scored - without Lucic. My favorite part is that both Peverley and Bergeron made important and great plays leading directly to goals, and that resulted in both Peverley and Bergeron reaching assists number 19. They are also both tied with 6 goals apiece (and therefore 25 points apiece; they are tied for 2nd on the team in assists and first in point).

The Bruins depth is so dynamic and yet apparently, very similar if you look at it the right way. The 2nd and 3rd lines in particular draw parallels in featuring 2 centers (Kelly and Peverley, Bergeron and Seguin) along with gritty and  effective wingers (Marchand moreso than Pouliot, although Pouliot is having a lot more success than I thought he would). Scorers, play makers, penalty killers, guys taking and winning important faceoffs, and the rotation of players on the power play are just a few examples of the almost endless combinations of effective interchangeable parts and roles filled by each player. Peverley and Bergeron, along with their identical points (although Peverley has played 2 fewer games), they are also the 2 Bruins forwards that you will see on the point of the power play. Bergeron takes the important faceoffs and matches up against the opponents top lines but Peverley has the fastest feet of anybody on the team, except maybe Seguin. Nevertheless, all this reaffirms the perfection with which the Bruins represent being an ultimate team, where the composition of incredible players comes second to the overall spectacular play and success of the team as a whole. They are all equal parts Bruins.

Another thing I greatly enjoyed about the game last night was how Lucic's absense wasn't really noticeable. Only on the Bruins would Paille be able to slid seamlessly into Lucic's spot from the 4th line to the 1st line, without resulting in any imbalance whatsoever. Of course Campbell's return helped ease that transition, and reminded me yet again how many great players we have and how lucky we are.

Sadly, the Bruins no longer boast the domination of league-wide +/- stats, as Seguin's +22 is 2nd to Detroit's Ian White with +23 (it's always you, Detroit). The only 2 players that currently rank in the negatives in +/- on the Bruins are Nathan Horton and David Krejci!

But, more importantly, the Bruins are now 1st in the league in Wins (22 wins in 32 games). They have 45 points, which is a tie for 2nd with Minnesota and 1 point behind Chicago, although the Bruins have a game-in-hand on Chicago and 2 on Minnesota. The Bruins earn a point in a league-best 70.3% of games.

Some other stats worth mentioning are the Bruins 3rd-ranked PK (88.7%) and 12th-ranked PP (18.5%, an achievement over last year). They have the best faceoff win percentage in the league, too, at 55.3%. They still lead in goal differential (+48 - 12 more than 2nd place Detroit).

In the standings, the Bruins are 9 points ahead of 2nd place Toronto (with a game-in-hand), and in the conference, they are ahead of 2nd place Philly by 1 point. Their records are similar, but the Bruins come out on top with 22-9-1=45 over the Flyers' 20-8-4=44.

A few more fun facts: Chara has the most PP goals on the team (5), and Chris Kelly has both of the Bruins shorthanded goals this season. The Bruins are unbeaten when leading after 2 periods, and have yet to give up a shorthanded goal. (Knocking on wood). Pouliot has the most game-winners with 4, and Chris Kelly is in 2nd with 3! Chris Kelly for 7th Player Award, amirite?

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