The Boston Bruins can put some talented players on the ice this postseason, but compared to the rest of the NHL, the B’s might be lacking in top-of-the-line firepower.
ESPN released its rankings for the top 50 players in the NHL suiting up in the playoffs, and while four Bruins made the list, none of them earned top-20 recognition.
With his dynamic play on the blue line, Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy was the highest-rated player for Boston, coming in at No. 21 overall after amassing 10 goals and 46 assists for 56 points in the regular season.
Patrice Bergeron placed at No. 27 overall, as the two-way center totaled 25 goals and 40 assists for 65 points this season. Bergeron also is an asset when it comes to faceoffs.
Brad Marchand followed right behind Bergeron at No. 28. Despite putting up 32 goals and 48 assists, Marchand’s ranking was a stark contrast to how ESPN’s staff viewed him prior to the season, when he came in as the ninth-ranked player.
A little further down on the list came Boston’s top scorer in David Pastrnak. Pastrnak put home 40 goals this season to go along with 37 assists even though he missed several games due to injury down the stretch.
The Carolina Hurricanes, who hold a 1-0 lead against Boston in their first-round series, placed one player in the rankings: center Sebastian Aho, who tallied 37 goals and 44 assists this season, at No. 10.
“Aho has been a point-per-game player for the Hurricanes in his 34 career playoff games,” ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski wrote. “They’ll need him to lead the way as the anchor of a dominant line for a championship push, but they’re also confident that Aho won’t be the reason if they fall short.”
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews earned the honor of being the top player in ESPN’s playoff rankings after a phenomenal 60-goal regular season.