NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec.16. Today, three key statistics for the Boston Bruins.
1. Rask’s even-strength save percentage
Tuukka Rask‘s .929 save percentage was second in the NHL last season among goalies who played at least 30 games, behind Anton Khudobin of the Dallas Stars (.930). Rask and teammate Jaroslav Halak led the NHL in 5-on-5 save percentage (93.3 percent) during the regular season, but that number fell to 90.4 percent during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Rask’s even-strength save percentage was .915 in the postseason, when he played four games before opting out Aug. 15 after one of his daughters had a medical emergency. But the decline in even-strength save percentage likely was an anomaly for Rask, who has a .935 even-strength save percentage in the playoffs since 2012-13, the best among goalies who have played at least 30 games.
2. Power-play percentage
Boston’s power play was second in the NHL last season (25.2 percent) behind the Edmonton Oilers (29.5 percent). Forward David Pastrnak led the League with 20 power-play goals in 70 games, and center Patrice Bergeron scored 11, his highest total since 2015-16 (12). Forward Brad Marchand and defenseman Torey Krug were tied for sixth in the NHL with 28 power-play points last season, but Krug signed with the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 9, so the Bruins will have to try to replace his production.
The Bruins could be without Marchand (sports hernia surgery) and Pastrnak (right hip arthroscopy and labral repair) to start the season, depending on when it begins. The NHL is targeting a start date of Jan. 1, and each had surgery in mid-September, with Marchand expected to need about four months to recover and Pastrnak five, so the Bruins power play might not be as productive until they return.
3. DeBrusk’s production at even strength
Forward Jake DeBrusk scored 12 even-strength goals in 65 games last season, down from 19 in 68 games in 2018-19. His 5-on-5 shooting percentage declined from 8.2 percent in 2018-19 to 7.1 percent last season, which partially explains the dip, but the Bruins will need more production from DeBrusk if Marchand and Pastrnak are not healthy to start the season. DeBrusk’s plus-30 shot attempts differential (SAT) last season indicates that the Bruins out-attempted their opponents when he was on the ice, but he had a minus-34 SAT when they were ahead in games, 27th among Boston skaters. DeBrusk could shoot more at even strength, especially when the Bruins are leading, and create additional scoring while Marchand and Pastrnak are out.