With the NHL pausing the 2019-20 regular season on March 12 due to the concerns surrounding the coronavirus, NHL.com is taking stock of each of the League's 31 teams.
Today, the award-worthy candidates for the Boston Bruins at the pause:
The Boston Bruins came into the season with the goal of reversing the ending to last season, when they lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to the St. Louis Blues, and everything they've done up to the pause has pointed toward another potentially lengthy playoff run.
To showcase some of the strong performances that have helped the Bruins get to where they are, here are the top players in various categories:
David Pastrnak is tied with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals for the NHL lead with an NHL career-high 48 goals. Pastrnak has continued to work on his game, offensively and defensively, and it's clear that sometimes on the ice he just can't be contained. Pastrnak can score in bunches -- he has four hat tricks this season -- and when he's on, his line with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron is almost impossible to stop.
Video: TBL@BOS: Pastrnak rockets one-timer in for 48th goal
There aren't a lot of options for the best rookie on a team that returned mostly intact from a season ago, but the choice is Jeremy Lauzon, a defenseman with a competitive bite to his game who has made the season-long loss of Kevan Miller because of a knee injury sting a little less. Lauzon has two points (one goal, one assist) in 19 games, but the points don't matter for a defenseman whose main focus is his own end. He'll have staying power in Boston.
Video: Top 10 Bruins Plays ... Thus Far
Brandon Carlo has elevated his shutdown game to a new level this season. He's smart, skates well, has the size (6-foot-5), and has developed a bit of the snarl that Bruins coaches always hoped he would. He's part of the reason the Bruins are allowing the fewest goals in the NHL (2.39 per game), and he's contributed with an NHL career-high 19 points (four goals, 15 assists).
Video: LAK@BOS: Carlo rips a shot that finds the twine
This goes to Patrice Bergeron, forever and always. One of the best defensive forwards in the NHL is having another strong season to go along with 56 points (31 goals, 25 assists) in 61 games. He's sixth in the NHL in face-off percentage (.579) among players to take at least 500 draws.
Video: BOS@FLA: Bergeron deflects home Krug's shot for PPG
The Bruins don't have many choices in this category, so the slightly off-the-board pick is forward Charlie Coyle. He was underwhelming offensively in his brief regular-season stint last season after he was acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wild, getting six points (two goals, four assists) in 21 games. He was a force in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 24 games and has become a key part of what the Bruins have done this season, solidifying their depth with 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists).
Video: TBL@BOS: McAvoy nets top-shelf goal in transition