What better way to kick off your Monday than with another set of Bruins Grades?
Today we’ll start breaking down the performance of Boston’s blue line, starting with starters Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara.
Player: Charlie McAvoy
Regular Season Stats: 7 goals, 25 assists, 32 points, +20
Post Season Stats: 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, +2
Bruins fans were eager to see what Charlie McAvoy could do this year after a strong debut during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The rookie defenseman was able to live up to that hype and then some.
Boston’s defensive core still isn’t quite in championship form, but they saw huge improvements throughout the 2017-2018 campaign, and Charlie McAvoy is a big reason why.
The rookie was for the most part very smart on the back-end and helped jump-start offensive rushes on many occasions. He recorded 32 points over 63 games.
McAvoy missed a month of the season because of a left knee injury but was able to come back from it without missing a beat. His play took a little bit of a dip in the postseason, thus I will be giving him a B+ instead of an A-.
At times against Toronto and Tampa Bay, he seemed to uncharacteristically lack the elite discipline he showed throughout the regular season, but he made up for it with a couple of high-quality moves.
McAvoy is off to a great start in a Bruins uniform and he is only going to get better as he gains experience.
Player: Zdeno Chara
Regular Season Stats: 7 goals, 17 assists, 24 points, +22
Post Season Stats: 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, +7
Either Zdeno Chara made a deal with father time or he is superhuman because the 41-year-old continues to play at an elite level for the Bruins.
Even in his 20th career season, Chara’s defensive play ranked up there with some of the best in the NHL. He was the heart of the defense all year and did a great job of mentoring star rookie Charlie McAvoy.
Many will remember Chara’s 2018 postseason for his miscues against the Lightning, but that small sample size doesn’t do his fantastic season justice.
Chara doesn’t have many high-level years left in him, so Boston fans should enjoy the stellar play of their defensive leader while it lasts.