Boston Bruins: Charlie McAvoy’s big performance is good news

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 04: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden on February 4, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 04: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden on February 4, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Charlie McAvoy may still not have that elusive goal this year, but his performance versus the Canucks is good news for the Boston Bruins.

On a night where he led the Boston Bruins in ice-time, Charlie McAvoy showed that the lack of a goal this season isn’t playing on him as much as we might think. He tallied two assists on the night; a primary on Charlie Coyle‘s opener and a secondary for Brad Marchand‘s goal.

The opening goal was particularly controversial, ruled onside eventually after going to the ‘Situation Room’ in Toronto. Charlie McAvoy, by definition of the law of the game, made an incredibly smart play allowing Sean Kuraly to get back on-side by maintaining control of the puck while not touching it.

You often forget just how young the Boston Bruins defenseman is and this play was a prime example of hockey smarts far beyond his meagre years.

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While the Boston Bruins dominated the Canucks in general, Charlie McAvoy highlights it with a Corsi For of an elite 68% at 5-on-5. When he was on the ice, in all situations, Vancouver managed just three shots on Tuukka Rask.

Beyond the points and general control of the game, he also showed his mean streak with a willingness to scrap in defense of his goaltender. After Jay Beagle collided with Rask, McAvoy was on the scene to ensure he remained wrestled to the ice, clearly unimpressed by his actions.

Even in that play, he showed incredible poise and maturity; instead of laying into Beagle with his fists, he instead subdued him in a manner that didn’t draw the ire of the officials.

Beagle, meanwhile left with a game misconduct and Brock Boeser sat his 2 minute penalty for interfering with our goalie. In the heat of the moment, it would’ve been very easy to get a little retribution, especially knowing that Rask is only just recovered from a concussion. Instead, Charlie McAvoy made a very sensible decision.

If his play continues to trend upwards, you have to imagine a goal is bound to happen sooner or later. He is clearly not lacking much by way of confidence in what he brings to the Boston Bruins, but you’d imagine the goal is weighing on him.

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Here’s hoping a tired Chicago Blackhawks team that lost in overtime last night give McAvoy that chance to break his duck for the season. An in-form Charlie McAvoy after all, goalscoring or not, is a vital piece of the line-up.

Statistics courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.