Boston Bruins: Charlie McAvoy Deserves Far More Credit

Boston Bruins, Charlie McAvoy #73 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Charlie McAvoy #73 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

One of the shining lights for the Boston Bruins in this series so far has been defenseman Charlie McAvoy but he still is underrated by most.

No Boston Bruins player except Tuukka Rask has seen more ice-time than Charlie McAvoy thus far in this series. Two games in, he’s already seen 56:58. That’s a decent chunk for all players not named Seth Jones (who saw 65:05 in just one game).

Gone are the days of Zdeno Chara tackling mammoth minutes for the Boston Bruins, nowadays while it is handled somewhat by committee, Charlie McAvoy typically leads the way most nights.

Not only does he take the minutes, but he does so while managing to control play – his relative Corsi For of 9.9% at even-strength is second-best on the team thus far this series. To do so while chewing up large minutes highlights how important his role is.

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Add to that a willingness to dish hits averaging two a game so far against a Canes side that typically moves at pace, thus making them all the more challenging to stop.

Also, a willingness to absorb the punishment that comes with playoff hockey, taking 7 hits and 2 shot blocks across the two games so far in the series and it paints a picture of a modern possession-driven defenseman that will still lay it all out there.

What is particularly frustrating for Boston Bruins fans though is that he fails to get that much credit.

The plaudits dished out by the media tend to focus on Torey Krug and his ability to quarterback the powerplay or Zdeno Chara and his ability to keep going despite his years. Charlie McAvoy is often forgotten in any of these discussions. To forget him is a proper injustice.

This regular season wasn’t his easiest, with a goalless drought that seemed to weigh heavily on his game, but he’s since moved past that and is looking ever bit the defenseman we knew he was becoming.

The Boston Bruins are incredibly lucky to have McAvoy on hand to eventually replace Chara. Very few teams have such luck not only in signing such players but also in having the right player for the right era, at the right time.

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Here’s hoping McAvoy’s form continues and he can open some more eyes this year, hopefully with a long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Statistics courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.