We’re previous the midway mark, however contemplating the NHL has chosen to basically go darkish for over every week in the midst of the hockey season, now’s nearly as good a time as any to dole out first-half grades.
The Bruins are tied for first general and that’s mirrored in a lot of the marks. But whereas some are on the head of the category, there are just a few gamers within the “needs improvement” class. Here are the grades and, be mindful, function and expectation matter. If the marks can keep this good for the end-of-season report card, then which means they’ll be taking part in lots longer than they did final season:
David Pastrnak, A+ – The 25-point hole between Pastrnak and the following highest Bruin scorer places him squarely within the Hart Trophy dialogue.
Brad Marchand, A+ – He’s jumped into his new management function, fought by a troublesome transition after the retirement of long-time centerman Patrice Bergeron and is now making a compelling case for the Hall of Fame.
Charlie Coyle, A+ – No longer deferential to the celebrities round him, Coyle is displaying he’s greater than able to of filling a top-six heart slot. He’s basically changed a Hall of Famer and, team-wise, there’s been little drop-off.
Trent Frederic, A – There isn’t a task Frederic hasn’t crammed, from fourth line to first, penalty kill to energy play and any of the ahead positions. In line to set new private scoring marks and leads all forwards at plus-17.
Pavel Zacha, B+ – At 10-20-30 totals He’s barely behind his scoring charge of 21-36-57 from a 12 months in the past, however he’s held down one of many two top-six heart spots admirably. He could not carry a wow issue each evening, however he wins battles and customarily makes good selections.
Morgan Geekie, B – Another good Don Sweeney discover, Geekie has added a heavy, hard-to-play towards factor to the lineup. Still wants to select up his faceoff share (44.2%) if he’s taking part in heart.
Danton Heinen, B – Invited to camp on a tryout, Heinen needed to wait a pair weeks into the season for a league minimal deal and he’s performed like a grateful soul ever since. His versatility has allowed coach Jim Montgomery to plug him wherever within the lineup and he’s bringing extra tenacity on the puck than in his first tour of responsibility.
Jake DeBrusk, B- – DeBrusk has performed an excellent two-way sport all season however a part of his mandate as a participant is to attain targets. He’s doing it now, but it surely took him some time.
James van Riemsdyk, B- – Maybe it’s being grasping, contemplating his $1 million price ticket, however it might have been good to have seen just a few extra targets with all the web net-front probabilities he’s had. He’s at a career-low 7.9% capturing share.
Matt Poitras, B- – The 19-year-old offered a spark early simply by making the crew and he appears to be like like a terrific prospect. His manufacturing has tailed off and hasn’t had a lot influence since coming again the final three video games from a shoulder damage. The break ought to be good for the child.
Jakub Lauko, C+ – The brutally lengthy stretch with no objective to start out the season takes him down a few pegs. But he brings power just about each evening and he leads the B’s in hits-per-60 minutes (21.89).
Oskar Steen, C – Steen is true behind Lauko within the hits division, which is a requirement for his fourth-line function. But he’s not a lot of a risk offensively (1-0-1 in 30 video games).
John Beecher, C – The rookie began out properly and had been robust on the faceoffs, however consistency points price him his NHL job in the interim, with the extra skilled Jesper Boqvist lately overtaking him. He’s in Providence now basically as a result of he was waiver exempt.
Brandon Carlo, A+ – Carlo has been a rock as a defense-first blueliner. He’s fifth within the league in plus/minus at plus-23 whereas beginning within the offensive zone simply 22.6% of the time. While he’ll by no means be thought of an offensive defenseman, his instincts within the O-zone proceed to enhance.
Charlie McAvoy, B – The B’s high defenseman appeared a little bit skittish after getting back from a four-game suspension for a excessive hit. From Nov. 18-Dec. 23, he was minus-14. But like the remainder of the crew, he’s been on a tear since Christmas (plus-20) and, with 7-26-33 may but surpass his profession highs in targets (10) and factors (56).
Parker Wotherspoon, B – He’s performed solely 20 video games, so there’s nonetheless time for him to show right into a pumpkin. But the long-time AHLer has given no indicators of that. Not the largest man, Wotherspoon has introduced some much-needed physicality and edge across the net-front.
Hampus Lindholm, B- – With the exception of 1 very unhealthy pinch, Lindholm’s sport has been on the upswing. Still, he had a really gradual begin for a participant who wants to supply some offense from the again finish. He didn’t notch his first level until Nov. 4 and first – and nonetheless solely – objective until Nov. 14.
Matt Grzelcyk, B- – It hasn’t been a simple 12 months for the undersized D-man, who has needed to battle by damage once more. He began off properly, particularly along with his added penalty-kill responsibility, however had some points when he returned from damage. His sport is beginning to spherical again into type.
Mason Lohrei, B- – The incontrovertible fact that Lohrei is essentially the most intriguing protection prospect since McAvoy shouldn’t blind us to the truth that he’s nonetheless challenged in his personal finish. But there’s a way he’s solely scratched the floor of his offense and stick abilities. Not positive he’s prepared to assist this crew come playoff time this season, however there’s purpose for B’s to be excited.
Kevin Shattenkirk, C+ – The worth ($1 million) has definitely been proper and, as anticipated, the artful veteran can present a lift to the offense. His 5 targets is the second-most for D-men behind McAvoy. But he’s too usually caught in prolonged shifts in his personal zone, which is mirrored in his minus-4 score.
Derek Forbort, C – You must marvel if the PK warhorse will have the ability to get his well being again this 12 months. He spent virtually two months on LTIR with a difficult groin damage and needed to sit out the final sport earlier than the break. Through all of it, he nonetheless managed to be plus-12 in 24 video games.
Jeremy Swayman, A+ – Tied for the league-lead in save share (.924), he’s giving indications that he would possibly have the ability to carry the load within the playoffs if the decision-makers determine to veer from their anticipated plan of maintaining the rotation within the playoffs. Still, he’s performed simply 27 video games and, regardless of getting 4 straight begins lately (3-0-1) it’s truthful to nonetheless marvel how a lot the rotation has helped him.
Linus Ullmark, A- – His fundamental numbers (.913, 2.78 GAA) are properly beneath his Vezina stats of final season (.938, 1.89) however most of the time he’s made the well timed saves. As of now, Swayman would get the G1 begin within the playoffs, however Ullmark has been a invaluable piece of the puzzle to this point.
Jim Montgomery, A – He’ll finally be judged on what occurs within the playoffs, however nobody anticipated this crew to be the place it’s now, not after all of the high-end participant losses. The line juggling may be maddening at occasions, however he’s mainly pushed the precise buttons. As he himself mentioned lately, Montgomery may have fallen asleep behind the bench final 12 months and been an All-Star coach. This season has been a lot, a lot totally different – and he’s an All-Star once more.