Bruins

Revisiting 25 Bruins predictions, observations before 2019-20 season – which held up? (Part II)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It remains to be seen if we’re going to receive some sense of finality for the 2019-20 NHL season — a campaign filled with plenty of promise for a motivated Bruins club.

Even if the Bruins are able to see this year through and get another shot at competing for a Stanley Cup, there stands a chance that the remaining 10-12 games on the regular-season slate could be wiped out in favor of a larger playoff format.

As such, we thought now would be a perfect time to revisit our extensive list of stats, facts and predictions that dropped at the outset of the regular season back in October.

While we revisited a few of these back in January, we figured now would be a perfect time to see just how many of these factoids and underlying numbers ended up defining what we already know about a loaded Bruins roster.

For Part 1 of our annual review, click here:

Let's get started on Part II: 

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253: The amount of man-games that the Bruins lost to injury in 2018-19: 

From October:

While Boston is already dealing with injuries going into the new season with the likes of Moore, Miller and Nordstrom banged up, the B’s will have their fingers crossed that key cogs like Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak and more can avoid getting bit by the injury bug.

Well, they certainly weren't dealt a hand quite as bad as the Blue Jackets (a league-leading 419 man-games lost to injury), but the B's have still had their fair share of bumps and bruises this season — posting 252 total man-games lost to injury though the first 70 contests of the 2019-20 campaign.

Granted, Boston has been able to avoid any major mishaps involving its stars, unlike last year — when key cogs like Chara, Bergeron, Pastrnak and more all lost significant time due to various ailments. Yes, Bergeron (nine games missed), Krug (eight games missed) and Krejci (seven games missed) have all been on the shelf at various points — but a majority of those lost games have been due to extended absences from Kevan Miller (knee), John Moore (shoulder), Kuhlman (tibia) and Connor Clifton (upper-body).

7.00: The 5v5 goals for per 60 minutes rate of the DeBrusk-Krejci-Kuhlman line in 2018-19

From October:

We’ve tossed this stat out quite a bit when it comes to highlighting the impact that Kuhlman had on Boston’s second line — and for good reason, because it’s a *bananas* nugget of information. While Kuhlman may not project as a top-six winger, the Minnesota Duluth product’s speed and underrated shot allowed him to hit the ground running with Krejci and Co. last year, with the 74-46-83 line ultimately tallying eight 5v5 goals in just 68 minutes of TOI together. 

Despite Kuhlman's emergence last season, he hasn't been able to sustain that, well, *unsustainable* level of offensive production in a top-six role. A broken tibia did force Kuhlman to miss over two months of action, but even in the 132:43 of total ice time that the Minnesota Duluth product logged with Krejci and DeBrusk, Boston only managed to score a single goal — totaling out to a GF/60 rate of ... 0.45. Ouch.

With the arrival of Nick Ritchie and Kase (and the potential arrival of Jack Studnicka later this summer), it would seem as though a top-six role just isn't in the cards for Kuhlman right now. But, given his speed and two-way ability, the winger certainly has a role somewhere in Boston's crowded bottom-six corps.

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1219786324590440448

15: The number of points David Pastrnak accrued through the first 10 games of the 2018-19 season

From back in October:

If Pastrnak gets off to a similarly fast start in 2019-20, he would become the fifth player in franchise history to record at least 15 points in his first 10 team games multiple times with the Bruins, joining Bobby Orr (1969-70,1971-72, 1973-74, 1974-75), Phil Esposito (1970-71, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1974-75), Bill Cowley (1940-41, 1943-44, 1944-45) and Adam Oates (1992-93, 1993-94).

No sweat for the B's top scorer. In total, Pastrnak managed to tally 11 goals and 18 total points through the first 10 games of the 2019-20 season — and was on pace to finish the year with 56 goals and 111 points before the season grinded to a halt. Team-focused goals matter far more than any individual accolade, but what a bummer if Pastrnak isn't given a chance to become the first B's skater since Cam Neely to light the lamp 50+ times in a single season.

But don't worry, Bruins fans. He'll be challenging for that mark again next year. And the year after. And the nex...

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1201323522376818688

7: The number of times I misspell Urho Vaakanainen in a story this season

From October:

Apologies in advance to my editors. Might have to get used to it, because I wouldn’t be surprised if Vaakanainen begins pushing for an NHL spot if he thrives down in Providence, especially after the first 2-3 months of the AHL campaign.

Whoops. While Vaakanainen's stock is still rather high, the Finnish first-rounder had a year to forget in some aspects — underwhelming during training camp before hitting a few development-related speed bumps down in Providence.  Still, Boston has benefited immensely from another AHL call-up on the blue line, as Jeremy Lauzon has stood as one of the B's top surprises this season — solidifying the club's third D pairing with Miller, Moore and Clifton all on the shelf at various points.

He may not be flashy, but Lauzon's hard-nosed, physical style of play has been the perfect compliment to Grzelcyk — with the Quebec native ranking second among B's blueliners with an expected goals against per 60 minutes rate of 1.80.

100: Brad Marchand’s point total in 2018-19

From October:

If Marchand manages to pass the century mark once again, he will join Peter Mahovlich (1974-75 and 1975-76) as just the second player in League history to record their first two 100-point campaigns in their 10th season or later.