At the NHL All-Star break, let’s assess the Bruins roster
When the Bruins return to action next week, after the All-Star Game, they will have 33 games remaining in the regular season. They are on an extended break, as each of the 31 NHL teams will have a mandated seven-day hiatus this season. The Bruins are one of 10 teams that have their bye week leading up to All-Star weekend.
With 49 games in the books and the team on that break, it seems like a good time to examine the roster and see how each player is performing.
David Pastrnak — The forward is having a career year, registering a line of 27 goals and 29 assists for 56 points and shouldering the load with some of his teammates battling injuries. Last season’s career-best marks of 35-45—80 are well within reach, provided he can stay on the ice.
Jake DeBrusk — The young forward was out three weeks in December after sustaining a concussion. When healthy, he has been a bright spot. In 40 games, he has a line of 14-4—18.
Sean Kuraly — The forward has been a pleasant surprise, already matching his career highs from last season of 6-8—14. He has played in 48 games despite having his nose broken in a fight Dec. 9.
Chris Wagner — The Walpole native has thrived on the fourth line with Kuraly and Noel Acciari, bringing a physical presence at forward. He has matched his career high in goals, posting a 6-5—11 line in 46 games.
Patrice Bergeron — The first-line center is again putting up great numbers despite playing only 33 games because of a rib and shoulder injury suffered in November. Upon returning in late December, he picked up where he left off and has managed 14 goals and 27 assists.
David Krejci — Krejci has managed to stay healthy, playing all 49 games. He spent a considerable part of the season centering the first line while Bergeron was out, and could surpass his career high of 51 assists after posting 10-30—40 so far.
Brad Marchand — Marchand, too, has managed to stay healthy and avoid trouble on the ice, which has been particularly essential this season with the Bruins ravaged by injuries. The veteran forward has posted a 19-34—53 line in 48 games. While not on track to reach his career high of 39 goals, he could surpass his best mark of 51 assists.
Matt Grzelcyk — In a season that has seen the defense decimated by injury, Grzelcyk (1-12—13) has been a dependable presence, playing in 46 games. He got a night off last week against St. Louis but was back in the lineup against the Rangers Saturday before the Bruins went on their break.
Tuukka Rask — Rask got off to a slow start this season, then took a leave of absence to tend to a personal matter. When he returned, he appeared to be on the precipice of losing the distinction of being the No. 1 goaltender. But Rask got hot, going 6-0-1, before he suffered a concussion Saturday. For the season, he is 14-8-3 with a .919 save percentage that is slightly below the .922 mark for his career.
Jaroslav Halak — Brought in to be a capable backup, Halak was more than up to the task early in the season, stepping up when Rask got off to a rocky start. He has tailed off in recent weeks, but has a 13-9-2 record with a 2.47 GAA. His .919 save percentage is his highest since he posted a .930 in 12 games after being traded to the Washington Capitals in the 2013-14 season.
Joakim Nordstrom — After signing a two-year contract last offseason, Nordstrom delivered a 5-2—7 line in 39 games before fracturing his fibula in the Winter Classic. The forward could return in the Bruins’ first game after the All-Star break.
Torey Krug — An ankle injury kept him out of the first 11 games of the season, but the veteran defenseman returned to play 38 games, posting a line of 5-27—32.
Brandon Carlo — The young defenseman missed three weeks with an upper-body injury, but returned in early December. Carlo, 22, scored his first goal in 116 games on Dec. 14 in a loss to the Penguins. He has a goal and two assists in 40 games.
Zdeno Chara — It’s been a rough year for the captain, who missed 19 games with an MCL injury. His return in late December has given the defense a boost. He has three goals and three assists in 30 games, although he has yet to score since returning to the lineup Dec. 27.
Steven Kampfer — When the Bruins shed Adam McQuaid’s salary by shipping him to the Rangers in the preseason, they acquired Kampfer as a depth option on defense. He has filled in admirably at times for injured teammates, appearing in 25 games and collecting two goals and an assist.
John Moore — The Bruins signed the well-traveled defenseman last summer to a five-year contract. He has appeared in 42 games, but did not dress for four of the last five heading into the break. He has a line of 2-7—9.
Noel Acciari — With a line of 1-3—4, the fourth-line center does not appear to be on track to match the 10 goals he had last season, but he still provides a physical presence.
Danton Heinen — His defense has kept him in the lineup despite a lack of production (he has just 2 points in January). After posting a 16-31—47 line in 77 games last year, the young forward has offered up just 6-7—13 in 47 games this season.
Ryan Donato — It’s been an up-and-down first full season for the forward out of Harvard. He was a healthy scratch Saturday against the Rangers, tagged with a “DNP, coach’s decision” for the first time since the Winter Classic.
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson — Forsbacka Karlsson has bounced around this season, from seeing time on the first line when Bergeron was out with an injury, to being shipped down to Providence for a brief spell in early December.
David Backes — It’s been another rough season for the 34-year-old forward. He missed time at the beginning of the season with an upper-body injury, then suffered a scary injury when he took a skate to the face in early December. After dishing out an illegal hit to the head of New Jersey’s Blake Coleman, he was suspended three games, including the Winter Classic. He also was benched for a game last week, but returned to score against his former team, the Blues.
Kevan Miller — The veteran defenseman has been beset with injuries, missing 11 games with a broken hand, then being sidelined after he was struck by a puck in the throat, causing cartilage damage. In 23 games, he has three assists.
Charlie McAvoy — McAvoy has been hampered by injuries in just his second full season, appearing in just 22 games after dealing first with a concussion, then a foot infection. He recently turned 21 and still could be the franchise defenseman the Bruins hoped they were getting when they drafted him in the first round in 2016.