Exactly how long the Bruins will remain on top is anyone’s guess.
ESPN and NHL.com both ranked the Bruins No. 1 on Thursday in the latest installment of their NHL power rankings. When the NHL announced Thursday it will pause the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, Boston was leading the league in points with 100 after 70 games. With 10 contests remaining on its regular-season schedule, it’s easy to understand why the Bruins were in such a lofty position.
In her assessment of the latest NHL pecking order, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan identified David Pastrnak as the Bruins player who “leveled up” the most this season.
“He’s third in the league in points right now, and is going head-to-head with Alex Ovechkin for the goal-scoring title. David Pastrnak is taking his game to new superstar levels this season.”
Pastrnak is tied with Ovechkin as the NHL’s leading goal scorer with 48. The Bruins right wing also has chipped in 47 assists during a campaign, in which he established himself among the NHL’s elite players.
In the “hit” and “miss” segments of his “Super 16” power-rankings column, NHL.com’s Dan Rosen highlights a lamentable aspect of the pause in the season: the top-ranked Bruins were playing so well.
Hit: The Bruins have an NHL-high 41 points since Jan. 7 (20-6-1) in large part because they’ve allowed an NHL-low 2.30 goals per game in that stretch.
Miss: Defensemen Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo each is day to day with an upper-body injury. Neither played in a 2-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
It will be some time before we know the scale of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the NHL and wider sports world, but let the record show: the Bruins were pretty darn good when the NHL hit the pause button.