2013-2014 Bruins Player Report Cards: The Minor Forwards

Jared Wickerham

These guys did some excellent work down in Providence this year, but how did that translate to their limited time in the NHL?

Basic Stats

Alexander Khokhlachev GP G A P PPG S% Corsi For PDO ATOI
PRO Reg. Season 65 21 36 57 5 6.2
PRO Playoffs 12 9 5 14 3 3.8
BOS Reg. Season 1 0 0 0 0 0 36.8 100 15.2
Matt Lindblad GP G A P PPG S% Corsi For PDO TOI/60
PRO Reg. Season 55 8 16 24 1 11.8
PRO Playoffs 12 3 4 7 1 7.6
BOS Reg. Season 2 0 0 0 0 0 36.8 100 11.8
Craig Cunningham GP G A P PPG S% Corsi For PDO TOI/60
PRO Reg. Season 75 25 22 47 8 9.1
PRO Playoffs 12 3 4 7 2 11.3
BOS Reg. Season 2 0 0 0 0 0 53.3 100 23.5
Justin Florek GP G A P PPG S% Corsi For PDO TOI/60
PRO Reg. Season 69 19 19 38 4 9.4
PRO Playoffs 4 1 0 1 1 11.3
BOS Reg. Season 4 1 1 2 0 20.0 47.8 104.7 11.8
BOS Playoffs 6 1 0 1 0 10.0 58.8 98.5 10.7

Regular Season

All four of these players were regular contributors for the Providence Bruins this season, and all showed enough promise to earn at least a "cup of coffee" in the NHL. Of the four, only Justin Florek was given the opportunity to play in NHL playoffs.

So 1-4 games is a pretty small sample size, all things considered, but let's take a look at the bubble charts anyway:

And for comparison, just for fun, here they are inserted into the rest of the Bruins' forward lineup:

What exactly can we get from this data? Not much, truthfully. All four were prolific scorers in the AHL, and the Bruins won most of the NHL games these four played in, but none of them were especially strong possession-wise with the exception of Cunningham, who was given the softest zone start-competition combination of the four. Of the four, Florek played against the strongest competition - and came out of it with possession numbers that weren't garbage, but weren't great. What I find hard to understand is why Khokhlachev wasn't given more offensive zone starts - then again, he played exactly one game for Boston this season, so...small sample size, and hopefully we'll see more out of him next season.

It's pretty interesting to see that almost immediately, all of these four players save Cunningham were given more ice time than Shawn Thornton's average.

Here's a nice gif of Justin Florek's first NHL goal, the only one scored by any of these four this season:

Playoffs

Again, Justin Florek was the only one of these four to play in the NHL playoffs. He played six games and had one goal, scored on Jimmy Howard.

Down in Providence, the other three did fairly well, beating the Hershey Bears in round 1 before falling in a game 7 to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. They combined for 15 goals and 18 assists, with Florek adding one when he was sent back down for round 2. Not bad, kids.

Conclusion: Incomplete, but positive

We've seen that all four of these players can be effective in the minors, and we've seen flashes of something that looks like what could be a regular NHL for next season in Florek, but the sample size we saw from Koko, Lindblad, and Cunningham wasn't quite enough to tell whether these three would be effective at the NHL level. Hopefully we'll see more of these players next season.

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