NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the Boston Bruins.
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1. Marchand's magic
Brad Marchand led the Boston Bruins last season with 85 points (34 goals, 51 assists) in 68 games.
Since his rookie season in 2010-11, the forward leads the NHL with 34 shorthanded points, nine more than Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique. Marchand is first with 53 backhand goals in the time span, 16 more than New York Islanders forward Jordan Eberle. In terms of shot-based metrics, Marchand ranks fifth with an SAT of plus-2, fifth with an SAT percent of 57.03, and fourth with a Relative SAT of plus-6.14 among those to play at least 100 games.
Video: BOS@MIN: Marchand gives Bruins win in overtime
2. Rookie contributions
The Bruins' organizational strength came to fruition in 2017-18, when rookies combined for 174 points (58 goals, 116 assists), best in the NHL.
Leading the way were forward Danton Heinen (47 points; 16 goals, 31 assists in 77 games), forward Jake DeBrusk (43 points; 16 goals, 27 assists in 70 games) and defenseman Charlie McAvoy (32 points; seven goals, 25 assists in 63 games).
Not counting goalies, Boston used 11 rookies, tying the Colorado Avalanche for second behind the Ottawa Senators (12). They combined for 406 games, second behind Colorado (511), with an average of 4.95 rookies in the lineup per game.
With prospects Ryan Donato, Peter Cehlarik, Anton Blidh and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson available, the Bruins could repeat some of that success in 2018-19.
Video: 31 in 31: Boston Bruins 2018-19 season preview
3. Chara keeps chugging
The Bruins were third in the NHL on the penalty kill last season (83.7 percent). A lot of the credit goes to defenseman Zdeno Chara, who played 226:25 shorthanded, second in the NHL to Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey (318:29).
Chara played 1,671:57 last season, fourth since 1997-98 among defensemen who were 40 or older Feb. 1 of that season. Ray Bourque played 2,087:44 for the Avalanche in 2000-01, Chris Chelios played 1,998:43 for the Detroit Red Wings in 2001-02, and Nicklas Lidstrom played 1,924:25 for the Red Wings in 2010-11.
In 2018-19, Chara will become the fourth defenseman since 1980 who was 41 at the start of a season, following Lidstrom in 2011-12, Tommy Albelin in 2005-06 and Chelios in 2003-04.