Charlie McAvoy - Defense
For just about the entirety of the season, McAvoy played on the top line with Zdeno Chara. It was a continuation of what we saw from the 2017 playoffs, which ended up leaving Brandon Carlo without a definitive line to sit on during the 2017-18 season.
He’s big, he knows how to move the puck, he showed the Bruins that he has a future as an elite defenseman in the NHL. If there’s any clip that shows he has the ability to do it all, it came in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
There’s nothing not there to love. He takes advantage of open space for a beautiful goal. He makes a booming check to separate Blue Jackets winger Markus Hännikäinen from the puck. He takes matters into his own hands and scraps with Dubois, and he makes a strong blue-line-to-blue-line pass up to David Backes, creating a quick up on the rush and nabbing a secondary assist on the Danton Heinen goal that quickly ensued.
Hell, McAvoy even scored TWO shootout winners on the season, both absolute beauties.
Now, that’s not to say there aren’t concerns in McAvoy’s game. My biggest attribute for him to work on is cutting down the PIMs. In only 63 games, he accumulated the 6th highest amount of minutes in the sin bin team-wide. Extrapolated to a full 82 game slate, he would have been right behind Kevan Miller for 2nd highest with 69 (nice) minutes. Check out these two penalties here.
Are they both stupid penalties? Absolutely. However, with a little more on-ice awareness about his stick and body, he can cut out some of those awkward minutes in the box. Are there penalties he has to take? For sure, sometimes you’d rather take a hook or a slash than give up a breakaway chance, and with the top-line minutes McAvoy sees, he’s going to be prone to making decisions like that a lot against top opposition. Just taking out penalties he know he can avoid will make him even more affective on the ice.
Aggregate Grade: A
What’s not to like about Chuck? This could have been a major Charlie McAvoy appreciation post between the goals he’s scored and hits he’s laid out. Here’s hoping he comes back this year less trepidatious on his MCL and raring to go for another successful season.
Do you agree with McAvoy’s grade?
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Yes, it’s just right
No, it’s too high
No, it’s too low