ESPN Expert Names Bruins Trio Among Favorites For NHL Awards

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February 8, 2020

It’s been an impressive year for the Boston Bruins to this point, which gives them plenty of buzz heading into the final few months of the season.

The Bruins currently sit atop the Atlantic Division and have for the majority of the season. It’s impossible to do so without the contributions of the players, some of whom have put themselves into contention for some end-of-season awards.

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski took a deep look into  who may be walking away as the award winners come to the end of the year. Three Bruins were listed as in contention for three separate awards: David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask, and Patrice Bergeron.

Pastrnak was listed as a finalist for the Hart Trophy (MVP).

“As we said last month,” Wyshynski wrote. “If you’re picking a Boston Bruins forward for the Hart Trophy, then Brad Marchand might have the stronger case analytically, at seventh in the NHL in goals scored above average (17.1). But Pastrnak, right now, has the glamour stats lead for a conference title contender. Hard to argue with that.”

Rask currently has the best goals-against average in the NHL and is tied for the second-best in save percentage. It’s really not a shock to see him in contention for the Vezina trophy.

“While Darcy Kuemper of the Arizona Coyotes was third on the PHWA list, keep in mind that the hockey writers don’t vote on this one,” Wyshynski wrote. “It’s the general managers, and they haven’t had three Western Conference goalies as the finalists since the Vezina Trophy voting started in 1983. So Rask, who has stellar numbers (.927 even-strength save percentage, 16.18 goals saved above average) could get that spot. An 18-4-6 record doesn’t hurt, either.”

Finally, Bergeron is once again in the talk for the Selke award. While Wyshynski is not picking him to win at the moment, he gives plenty of reasons why that can change by season’s end.

“Bergeron has the lowest expected goals per 60 minutes (1.84) and defensive goals above average per 60 minutes (0.233), and the best possession stats (55.94 Corsi for percentage),” Wyshynski wrote.

None were considered favorites here, but with a lot of seasons left, all awards are open for discussion.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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