Just the Facts
The Time: 7pm EST
The Place: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Place to Watch: NESN, ESPN+, NBC Sports; 98.5 The Sports Hub for your ears
Opposing SBNation Blog: Broad Street Hockey
Know Your Enemy
- Travis Konecny leads all statistical categories: tied at 7 goals with Oskar Lindblom, but has most assists and points on the team with 16. Five players have double-digit points.
- Sean Couturier is rightfully in the conversation with best defensive forward in the league. He may very well be firmly fastened to Patrice Bergeron during tonight’s game, in the hopes that he might absorb whatever life force Bergie gives off, thus surpassing him as Most Perfect Human in the Galaxy.
- By comparison of the Flyers’ stats above, though David Pastrnak has already hit 30 points and Brad Marchand is close behind, their stalwart linemate Patrice Bergeron has 17, and PP1 “quarterback” Torey Krug is still waterskiing with 11 of 13 total points arriving via powerplay... no one else is in double digit ANYTHING. Only six weeks into the season, and already at this point, it’s kind of a farce.
- So, what can Boston do to counter? Statistically, they’re a stronger possession team by only a tenth of a percent at 5v5, compared to Philly. If you want to stick to #fancystats, the Bruins are a luckier team as well. Which would you rather have: a statistically sound team that is less lucky, or a luckier team that is (perhaps) structurally sound? If you don’t want to stick to #fancystats, fine... but know that the Bruins are tracking ahead because of good goaltending and first-line play, and nothing else.
Boston can do one of two things: count on the top line to bail them out, or make a concerted effort to bolster scoring contributions from the lower nine. The reliance on these top-flight players to log the majority of power play and PK minutes all night/every night is unsustainable. Cassidy is wisely playing his best players in these scenarios; the Bruins just look less deep of a team because of their over-use. Brad Marchand played nearly 25 minutes against Pittsburgh, and it was the first of a few team-wide slumps. (Yes, we know he also Olly Postanin’d to take the late lead. Snipers still snipe, and he handled the minutes fine; they’re just not sustainable long-term.)
The attitude always comes through in games against Philadelphia. Let’s hope Boston plays up to snuff and returns to their Conference-leading ways.