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Behind The Numbers

Schwartz, Bergeron among best playoff performers

Tarasenko, Klingberg, Makar, Rask also have thrived, statistics show

by Scott Cullen / Correspondent

Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko have been outstanding in helping the St. Louis Blues reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.

Not only do the forwards have strong traditional statistics during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but their underlying numbers are also impressive.

With the Final on a two-day break and the Blues and Boston Bruins tied in the best-of-7 series entering Game 3 at Enterprise Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS), here is a look at our top players at each position to this point of the postseason:


[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]


LW -- Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues

On the surface, the regular season was not kind to Schwartz. He scored 11 goals in 69 games despite averaging an NHL career-high 2.65 shots per game, and had a shooting percentage of 6 percent, but his underlying numbers were strong. The Blues controlled 54.71 percent of the 5-on-5 shot attempts (SAT) with Schwartz on the ice, putting him 41st in SAT percentage among forwards who played at least 40 games, and his relative SAT percentage was plus-3.66 percent (46th).

The playoffs have been dramatically better for Schwartz. He is scoring on 20.3 percent of his shots (12 goals in 21 games) and averaging 2.81 shots per game, but also has a relative SAT percentage of plus-10.55 percent and an SAT percentage of 58.76 percent, ranking first and fourth among forwards who have played at least 10 games.

Video: STL@SJS, Gm5: Schwartz records hat trick in Game 5


C -- Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

In the analytics era, no center has had his reputation bolstered by enhanced stats as much as Bergeron, an elite two-way performer, and that hasn't changed in this postseason. He has an SAT percentage of 55.45 percent and a relative SAT percentage of plus-6.37 percent, ranking seventh and eighth among forwards who have played at least 10 games. Given Bergeron's reputation, he faces high expectations and continues to meet them.



RW -- Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

There are strong arguments to be made for Nino Niederreiter of the Carolina Hurricanes and Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks at this position.

Niederreiter had an SAT percentage of 61.73 percent (second among forwards who have played at least 10 games) and a relative SAT percentage of plus-8.72 percent (third). Meier had an SAT percentage of 54.90 percent and a relative SAT percentage of plus-5.52 percent, ranking 11th in each category among forwards to play at least 10 games.

But though each is listed as a right wing, each has played a significant amount of time in the playoffs at left wing. Tarasenko has strictly been a right wing and thrived on a line with Schwartz and center Brayden Schenn.

Tarasenko has an SAT percentage of 54.78 percent and a relative SAT percentage of plus-4.94 percent, ranking 12th and 15th among forwards who have played at least 10 games. But bolstering his case is the fact he's averaging 15.3 goals per 60 minutes, seventh among players who have played at least 10 games. Tarasenko leads all players in the postseason with 70 shots (3.33 per game) and is tied for third with Sharks forward Tomas Hertl with 10 goals after scoring in four straight games.

Video: STL@BOS, Gm2: Tarasenko puts home second opportunity


D -- John Klingberg, Dallas Stars

The Stars were eliminated by the Blues in the Western Conference Second Round despite a stellar performance by Klingberg. His relative SAT percentage of plus-19.93 percent leads the playoffs by far among players who have played at least 10 games (Schwartz is second), and his SAT percentage of 57.99 percent is eighth.


D -- Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

Makar made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the first round against the Calgary Flames, joining the Avalanche after his season ended at the University of Massachusetts, and he announced his presence in impressive fashion. Makar had a relative SAT percentage of plus-8.62 and an SAT percentage of 55.91, and all six of his points (one goal, five assists) came at even strength, giving him 2.07 points per 60 minutes. Those totals ranked second (to Klingberg), fifth and second (to Erik Karlsson of the Sharks, 2.30), respectively, among defensemen who played in at least 10 games.


G -- Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

One of the favorites to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, Rask has a .940 save percentage at even strength and a .929 save percentage with the Bruins shorthanded, ranking first and second (to Ben Bishop of the Stars, .959), respectively, among goalies to play in at least 10 games.


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