Bruins’ depth makes them first team this season with six 20-goal scorers
|03.31.12 at 4:34 pm ET|
There are 23 players in the NHL with 30 or more goals this season. None of them play for the Bruins.
With four games remaining in the season, it doesn’t look like the B’s will finish the season with a 30-goal scorer, a rather common occurrence. In Claude Julien’s five seasons with the B’s, the team has had just two 30-goal scorers: Phil Kessel in 2008-09 and Milan Lucic last season. This season, both Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin are three goals short, making the feat possible, but not likely.
For as much as the 30-goal mark says about an individual player, it doesn’t paint an accurate picture of an offense as a whole. As of Saturday afternoon, the Islanders ranked 27th in the NHL in goals per game, though they boast two 30-goal-scorers in Matt Moulson and John Tavares.
While the Bruins might not have any members of the 30-goal club, they’ve been able to ice the league’s second-best offense using their favorite thing in the world: depth.
The B’s became the first team in the league this season with six 20-goal scorers – Seguin (27), Marchand (27), Lucic (24), David Krejci (23), Patrice Bergeron (21) and Chris Kelly (20) – with Saturday’s win over the Islanders. The Bruins’ top three lines all pack an offensive punch, so much so that there have multiple points this season in which it’s been Kelly’s line that has delivered the team wins.
Benoit Pouliot (14 goals) is the next healthy guy down on the list, and chances are you won’t see six more goals out of him over the last four games of the season. However, that doesn’t mean that the B’s have only six guys capable of burying 20. Nathan Horton had 17 goals through 46 games before going down with his latest concussion. Though Rich Peverley was not on pace for 20 goals when he suffered his knee sprain (he now has 10 goals through 53 games), he scored 22 a couple years ago for Atlanta, and his speed is enough to make opposing goaltenders keep an eye on him.
Six members of the 20-goal club is no small feat. Not only have no other teams done it this season, but the Bruins haven’t had six 20-goal-scorers in the same season since 1995-96. The B’s take pride in their offensive depth, and though individual numbers won’t jump off the page in this offense compared to other ones (see: Ryder, Michael — the man is ninth in the NHL with 35 goals after scoring 18 in each of the last two seasons with Boston), but when it comes to production, the B’s will always take quantity – as in more scorers, which in turn means more goals – over quality.
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