In the first edition of the Galley God’s Boston Bruins Player Rankings, we will sort out which players have stock on the rise and those on the decline. The Bruins are the top team in the National Hockey League with an 8-1-0 record, proving there aren’t many holes in their game right now. However, no one is perfect, and the team will not finish the season 81-1-0. This weekly list will be challenging until errors are abundant, and the losses pile up.
Let the debates begin on whose stock is up and whose stock is down.
The number one spot in this week’s ranking was a no-brainer. Pasta currently leads the Bruins with 17 points in nine games and sits in second place in league scoring. He is suiting up in a contract year and has yet to put ink to paper, so in an attempt to get the most money imaginable, he’s out chasing his first Art Ross trophy to pad his bottom line.
Last week, Pastrnak collected a goal in every game (three) to finish the week with seven points.
If you go to NHL.com and look up the goalie with the most wins through the first month of the regular season, Ullmark is the name at the top. However, he’s got some stiff competition, with three other goalies nipping at his heels with five, yet no one is undefeated like him. So far, Ullmark is one of just ten goalies to record a shutout and six to have a sub-2.00 goals-against average (1.70).
Last week, Ullmark earned two victories, one by shutout, giving up just one goal and turning away 61 shots.
There will be some argument about who truly deserves this final spot, but without a doubt, it is Marchand. The star forward had double hip surgery this offseason and made a surprise return earlier (a month) than expected on Thursday night. It was clear that the Detroit Red Wings did not expect him to be game ready, yet he collected two goals and an assist in 17:38 minutes of action. Marchand had numerous opportunities to finish the hat trick, which would have completed a storybook comeback; however, it did not happen.
Marchand did not make the trip to Columbus for the back-to-back; however, the Bruins were still firing on all cylinders without their alternate captain. When he returns to the lineup for every game, the team will be even tougher to shut down.
Honorable mentions: Hampus Lindholm and Connor Clifton
The Bruins offered a veteran of over 900 games a chance to extend his career another season. This move occurred because of injuries to key players like Charlie McAvoy, so we have to assume when the team regains its full strength, Stralman will need to find a new home.
After a debacle in Ottawa, where he registered a minus-two rating, Stralman didn’t suit up again for ten days until the Columbus game. Fans would have never noticed he was in the lineup if it weren’t for the two-minute penalty he took in the third period. It’s good to see him still playing at a high level; however, he is a liability now, and the Bruins need reinforcements to prevent further mishaps.
Former league MVP Hall darted out of the gate, earning six points through nine games, the best start of his NHL career. Moreover, he’s been productive, with four goals and two game-winners. However, his stock has been down this past week because he was quiet on the game sheets, collecting a single point in three games and finishing the week at zero in plus/minus.
Superstars go through hot and cold stretches; this past week is Hall’s turn in the cooler. With three huge matchups against potential playoff opponents, Hall needs to stay out of the box (eight minutes already) and find new ways to contribute on offense.
It is rather challenging to pinpoint which player’s stock is down when they are on the best team in the league. We are not here to say Zbroil is the worse player on the team; however, we want to point out that in seven games this season, he’s registered zero points and just five shots on goal, despite averaging 15:28 of ice time.
He’s just 25 years old with 61 games of NHL experience, but as a defenceman, he should have more than just eight hits in seven games. To put it into perspective, captain and forward Patrice Bergeron has seven hits, and defenceman Connor Clifton has 28. So far, 24 different skaters have played in a game, and only five still need to register a point, including Zboril.
Honorable mention: David Krejci (injury)
Who do you think should have made this week’s player rankings? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check back every Monday for another Gallery God’s Player Rankings, where we will sort the best and worse Bruins’ players based on their recent play.
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