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Bruins found offense that was missing last year

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After shooting woes of last year, some were worried that the Bruins would struggle to score goals, That was not the case, as they finished top five in the league in scoring

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

In stark contrast to last year's goal scoring woes, which were largely driven by personal shooting percentages that were far lower than what could reasonably been expected (seriously, Gregory Campbell was the only Bruin with 100+ career shots heading into that year who shot above his career average. He scored 6 goals), the Bruins had very little issues scoring in the 2015-16 season. They found themselves fifth in the league in goals for, one slot above the average placement for prior Claude Julien-coached Bruins.

To make this post even happier, I'm just going to look at forwards, since looking at the Bruins defensive pairings makes me depressed. Also, these took a lot more work than I remembered and anticipated.

Some quick things before we get started:

- The Bruins had 3 players in the top 20 in goals scored (Marchand 6th with 37 goals, Bergeron 14th, with 30, and Eriksson 19th with 30), with only Dallas also able to claim that (Benn - 3rd - 41, Seguin and Spezza - t10 - 33

- The Bruins had four of the top 40 point scorers. They were the only team to do so, with only Dallas, San Jose, and Washington having three.

18. Patrice Bergeron, 68 points

t28. David Krejci, 63 points

t28. Loui Eriksson, 63 points

t35. Brad Marchand, 61 points

The Bruins also had 5 of the top 100 point scorers in the league, with Ryan Spooner (t98th) joining the above four, tied with Dallas, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, and Washington. However, Florida had six of the top 100 point scorers. If you were to count Lee Stempniak (t82, 51 points, with 10 points in 19 games with the Bruins), the Bruins would have six of the top 100.

And now, on to the hopefully-pretty pictures. We'll look at the season a few ways: Both at 5-on-5 and in all situations, points, points per 60, primary points (goals and primary assists), and primary points per 60.

201516 Bruins 5on5pts

With only Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic in the top 90 in 5-on-5 points last year, the difference a year has made is nothing short of remarkable. Over two lines of Bruins scored at a first line level during the 2015-16 season. When controlling for ice time, Marchand, Eriksson, Bergeron, Krejci, Spooner, and David Pastrnak all scored in the top 90 forwards.


Those above numbers don't take into account the Bruins' 7th-ranked powerplay in efficiency (12th in powerplay goals scored) or the nine shorthanded goals they scored, which was good for 7th as well. Some of the biggest jumps in points happened when switching from just 5-on-5 to all situations. Patrice Bergeron in particular more than doubled his point totals, from 33 to 67. This way of looking at points really highlighted which players were effective on the main powerplay unit, with Eriksson, Krejci, Spooner, and Bergeron all seeing large boosts. Marchand had a slightly smaller one, given his role on the second powerplay unit as well as his shorthanded prowess. Before this year, Marchand had 14 powerplay goals and 15 shorthanded goals in his career, and he finished this year with an additional 6 powerplay and 4 shorthanded.

201516 Bruins AllSitpts

The next two tables show 5on5 and all situations primary points, a measure that includes goals and first assists, as second assists have been found to be slightly more than 'noise'. With that in mind, we see great passers like Ryan Spooner and David Krejci jump up the rankings. When looking at primary points per 60, this was the measure that included the lowest number of first line Bruins, although they had eight top six players production wise at 5-on-5.

If you are interested in where players on your team fall, or want to look at different ranges of years (anywhere between 2012 and now), I created a tool where you can do just that, as well as looking at shot attempts, unblocked shot attempts, and shots in a variety of ways, here.

Numbers in charts taken from Stats.Hockeyanalysis

Thanks to Megan Richardson for some help editing