The baseline numbers may not jump out to you when glancing over Karson Kuhlman’s stat line so far during the 2019-20 campaign.
In 17 games played, the 24-year-old winger has failed to light the lamp in 194:08 of 5v5 ice time. His lone tally came on the man advantage back on Feb. 4, capping the scoring on a convincing 4-0 victory over the Canucks.
The Esko, Minnesota native doesn’t exactly fit the profile of the finisher that the Bruins so desperately covet on David Krejci’s line. But much as we learned from Charlie McAvoy’s extended goal-scoring drought, goals are far from the be-all, end-all when it comes to assessing a player’s ability to drive offense.
After all, Kuhlman only managed to tally two goals and five total points over 11 games last season, but his wheels and knack for generating high-quality scoring chances paid dividends on a second line with Krejci and Jake DeBrusk — with that forward trio generating a 5v5 goals scored per 60 minute rate of 7.00 in 2018-19.
That was far and away tops among B’s forward lines that logged at least 50 minutes of 5v5 TOI. For reference, the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line’s GF/60 rate last year was 4.51.
This season, Kuhlman has once again been a spark plug when it comes to 5v5 offense — even if that goose egg under 5v5 tallies draws most looks.
Among Bruins skaters with at least 50 minutes of 5v5 TOI this season, Kuhlman ranks: