Boston Bruins 2021 Player Grades: Chris Wagner lackluster again

Jun 5, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) skates with the puck against the New York Islanders during the first period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) skates with the puck against the New York Islanders during the first period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports /
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Moving on in our Boston Bruins 2021 Player Grades series, we look at veteran forward Chris Wagner.

After having the best season of his career two years ago in which he scored 12 goals and 19 points while also being a +3 in 76 games, Chris Wagner has struggled to provide an equal performance in each of the last two seasons with the B’s.

Last season, Wagner saw a steep decline in offensive production, going from 0.25 points per game in 2018-19 to 0.15 points per game in 2019-20. This season, the regression continued as his points per game dropped to a career-worst 0.12.

But wait. Wagner is a fourth-liner, so it’s okay that he isn’t scoring that much. Well yes, this would be fine if he were playing sound defense and not making silly turnovers like his first season with Boston. But this just hasn’t been the case last season nor this season as Wagner has just been bad in every zone.

Chris Wagner played too much for the Boston Bruins this season.

Wagner played 41 games this season for the Black and Gold. And, in my opinion, this was just too many. For some reason, he just seemed untouchable and wasn’t a healthy scratch not nearly as much as he should’ve been.

Even after the addition of Curtis Lazar at the trade deadline, Wagner was still in the lineup despite being one of the worst B’s in the lineup. This worked fine at first as the trio of Sean Kuraly, Lazar, and Wagner played with some intensity. But this quickly fizzled out.

As a result, Wagner was finally a healthy scratch for nearly two weeks with Karson Kuhlman taking his spot on the fourth line and Kuraly being moved up to 3C and Charlie Coyle being moved over to right wing. This shake up proved effective but didn’t last long as Coyle would miss the last two games of the season, allowing Wagner to be reinserted into the lineup.

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Overall, Wagner was just unreliable this season. He couldn’t produce offensively and wasn’t good defensively. He shouldn’t have played as much as he did, but I guess Cassidy preferred the poorly performing veteran over the hardworking youngster.

Grade: D+