Boston Bruins: Analyzing and grading the 2019-20 season of Matt Grzelcyk

How did Boston Bruins’ defenseman Matt Grzelcyk do in 2019-20?

The Boston Bruins drafted defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in the third round (85th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Since then you could argue he’s been a steal from that draft class.

2019-20 was Grzelcyk’s best. In 68 games, he registered career-bests in every major offensive category, scoring four goals and 17 assists for 21 points. He was able to do this while playing over a minute less per game than he did in 2018-19.

Grzelcyk was also responsible for manning the point on the B’s second powerplay unit. Of Grizz’s 21 points, seven (one goal, six assists) came on the powerplay.

Grizz also had a very good plus/minus (+/-) and expected plus/minus (E+/-) in 2019-20 with a +15 +/- and +7.7 E+/-. This is great to see for the budding offensive-minded blueliner as his +/- last year was just a +9 and his E+/- was a -2.3.

This can be explained by the fact that Grzelcyk’s expected goals against (xGA) significantly improved from 2018-19 to 2019-20. He was able to bring it from 45.2 down to just a 34.8 while playing two more games.

Additionally, Grzelcyk cut down his penalty minutes significantly. After having 68 penalty minutes in 66 games in 2018-19, he had just 34 penalty minutes in 68 games in 2019-20.

In the playoffs, Grizz struggled like most of the Boston team. In 12 games, he recorded just one assist and had a +/- of -5.

Matt Grzelcyk’s grade for his 2019-20 season with the Boston Bruins.

Grizz significantly improved from 2018-19 to 2019-20. He was able to play better defense while also recording career-best offensive stats.

Furthermore, he was able to cut down on the number of penalties he took, cutting his penalty minutes nearly in half. This is huge as Grizz is a big offensive weapon at even strength and on the powerplay. He has the ability to drive and control play, and if he’s in the box, he can’t do this.

With Grizz posting career-bests on offense and drastically improving defensively but having a lackluster postseason, I think the grade of an A- is appropriate.

Grade: A-