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Five team stats that help explain the Bruins’ success

Jun 7, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT

Bruins score

1. Five on five, the Bruins are scoring 1.73 goals for every goal they give up. The next best team in that category is Chicago, well back at 1.33. This is very similar to what the B’s did in 2011 when they won the Stanley Cup despite a power play that finished at 11.4 percent. Many may have forgotten that the crowd at TD Garden actually started booing the home team in Game 3 of the finals when it couldn’t convert on Aaron Rome‘s five-minute major for hitting Nathan Horton late. Boston’s five-on-five ratio for the 2011 postseason finished at 1.82.

2. Boston is 4-2 when the opponent scores first. No other playoff team has a winning record in this category. (Chicago is 3-3.) Whether this points to the Bruins’ belief in their system and their willingness to stick to the plan even when trailing, or if it’s more of a rah-rah, the-Bruins-never-say-die, don’t-poke-the-bear thing, whatever it is, it’s working.

3. The Bruins have won 56.2 percent of their faceoffs. Again, tops among all playoff teams. The importance of faceoffs has been debated, with some arguing they’re not as vital as the publicity the statistic gets suggests. But here’s the thing: if you’re going to take a faceoff, you might as well try to win it. Of note, the Penguins actually won the overall faceoff battle, 51-38, in Game 3. Pittsburgh also scored its only goal of the game off a won draw:

4. Boston is killing penalties at 85.7 percent. Not the best (it’s actually 6th, with Chicago leading at a ridiculous 96.4%), but it’s been perfect (12-for-12) against a Penguins team that came into the Eastern Conference finals practically scoring at will with the man advantage. How Gregory Campbell‘s absence will affect the Bruins’ PK will be something to watch. No Boston forward has spent as much time killing penalties (32:04) as Campbell has this postseason.

5. The Bruins are 4-1 in overtime. Their only loss came in Game 4 versus the Rangers. Just like in 2011, if the Bruins hadn’t been successful in sudden death, they wouldn’t have even gotten out of the first round. Call it luck or call it a team that elevates its game when the pressure’s on — it’s probably a bit of both — it’s one more reason the B’s are five wins away from another Cup.

  1. ballistictrajectory - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Do NOT poke the bear.

    • ballistictrajectory - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball, either.

      • chicagobtech - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        I stared at broken Happy Fun Ball once. I can’t have children now.

    • hockey412 - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      I can’t believe these underdogs are beating the best players in the world. I never gave them a chance.

      • mjvincent125 - Jun 8, 2013 at 5:12 AM

        You aren’t alone. Neither did any of the “experts”.

  2. joestemme - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Very very important wording in the headline for this story: “Team Stats”.

    The Bruins are more a TEAM than a collection of stars. (although it may be more difficult to ‘hide’ players like Krejci and Rask as ‘non-stars’ after this playoff run) The Penguins can have their stars, regular season stats and all the publicity they can get, but, the Bruins would rather have the wins.

    • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Good lord to sit here and say the Pens are just a collection of stars is just stupid. The Bruins are a good team. The Pens are a good team. THEY ARE BOTH IN THE EC FINALS….NEWSFLASH…the Bruins – so far – are having a good series, and have played well since Toronto woke them up.

      Toronto could have been just as dumb and said this, had they won…that ‘we’re a team, not just a collection of stars like the Bruins’ haha…that hype is so effing played out.

      They’re both good teams – always have been, no matter what odds Vegas gave that hurt everyone up there so badly. Both teams had a shot, and the Bruins have done better so far. Your comments are trash. Do over.

      • mjdkid100 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        If you don’t understand what he’s trying to say, I think your parents need a do over.

      • joestemme - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Whoa. Sensitive, much?

        I’m not saying the Pens aren’t a good team. BUT, the key that this series has shown is the team-work of the Bruins has been superior. They have out-worked and out-hustled the Penguins. Their defense has kept the vaunted Penguins offense to only two goals, and none on the power play.

        And, it is true that the perception is the Penguins have two or three of the best offensive stars in the game. Crosby is often referred to as the “best player on the planet”.

        It is no slight on the Penguins to say the Bruins have played better as a team.

      • nhloon - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        I do not think the Pens are a “Team.” Not enough discipline, too many stars on a pre-madonna roster, very 2011 Canuck esq and we all know what happened in that game 7.

        In case you forget, it was a 4-0 shallacking.

      • dropthepuckeh - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Is Pitt really in the ECF? Does two goals in three games constitute a real appearance?

      • r8rbhawk - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        @nnhloon, not trying to be a grammar nazi, I gave your post a thumb up, but I wanted to let you know the term is prima donna not premadonna, lets keep Madonna off the PHT board. I’m seriously just trying to help a brother out, not attempting to be an ass

  3. amityvillefun - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    I actually rather like it when the bear gets poked. The Bruins play much better pissed off.

    The antics of game one set the tone and the Bruins jumped all over it.

    • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Please explain – as far as the physical battle they’ve had their butts handed to them, outside of two illegal plays by Lucic that weren’t called. Boarding and Choking are both illegal. That is the extent of any pissiness shown by Boston. Boston didn’t look pissed last game – looked like a team saved by a goaltender.

      • amityvillefun - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Send Crosby over to start with Chara again. That worked out. Chara was frightened. I’ve never see him look so intimidated.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        The hits are in Pittsburgh’s favor because their players continue to put themselves out of position by going after players. How many times has Orpik given up the blue line on a rush to hit someone? The Penguins have been caught numerous times hitting guys behind the play in the offensive zone and giving up odd-man rushes and scoring chances.
        They’re playing physical sure, but it’s a really stupid physical brand of hockey.

      • grilledjesus - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        How exactly have the Bruins had their “butts handed to them”? Because the Pens have outhit them? Great, amazing, nice hit, but the puck went into the net while you went out of your way to be “intimidating”.
        Hitting does not equal toughness.

        Please explain how many of the 50+ shots last game that Tuukka actually had to “work” for. Maybe a couple, five tops. It’s team defense shutting the Pens down.

      • dentals1 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        The in game hit stat is useless and arbitrary. What exactly constitutes a hit? It’s like the football tackle stat where a player can have more tackles depending on whom you ask. Why even pay attention to it?

      • pepper2011 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        I guess it’s Kunitz wearing down Chara.

      • hockey412 - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        I don’t remember Chara doing anything but standing there looking dumb. Did you see something else?

      • grilledjesus - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        hockey412 – Jun 7, 2013 at 4:19 PM
        I don’t remember Chara doing anything but standing there looking dumb. Did you see something else?
        —————————————————————————————————————————

        All I saw him doing was completely shutting down “the worlds two best players”.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        While you’re grasping at straws, can you get me one?

  4. tdrusher225 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Honestly, you don’t need to try to explain their success to anyone. Fans of this team understand why they’re so successful, and it’s when they’re doubted by everyone is when they’re at their best. So as far as Bruins fans are concerned, keep them in that underdog status and we’ll all (Bruins’ fans) be much happier.

  5. crusty14 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    The reason the pens have outhit Boston ( especially in game 2) is simple….. The bruins had the puck more often than not, and controlled the play in the offensive zone. When you have the puck, there is really no need to be checking. The pens didn’t have the puck and had to initiate contact in an attempt to recover said puck! Quite simple really!

    And quit the whining about lucic’s uncalled penalties! Is that really all you’ve got from the first 3 games?

    • nhloon - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      I disagree, the Pens have the puck plenty and are not converting. I also have noticed that the Pens are trying to force turn overs by hitting, but, it’s not working, not enough at least.

  6. jcmeyer10 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    One broken leg.

    • amityvillefun - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      At least he didn’t give up his shift. Chara’s blast will be aiming for Malkin. Maybe a bit higher though….

      • hockey412 - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        That would fit in to the quality of personality you’ve shown. You give even Boston a horrible image.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jun 7, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        Hockey has been dogging your posts but this time I am inclined to agree. C’mon man, it was an accident.

        Half the posts on here praise hockey players for being men, and a slapshot to the groin for an accident is not how men settle things.

  7. gallyhatch - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Pittsburgh trolls bring whining & crying to a whole new level, which is impressive considering who their captain is.

  8. dropthepuckeh - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Lucic’s “choke” on Cooke was after the whistle and had no bearing on the game at all but more importantly I am pretty sure every hockey fan outside of Pitt looked at that moment with a smile and thanked the Hockey Gods that he was getting just a small taste of what he has deserved for years.

    The real choking is being done by your roster of All Stars who continue to embarrass themselves by diving and whining and not having the balls to step up and lead in this critical time of their careers. The Bruins aren’t winning this series just because of one player like you’d like to preach. They are winning because their best players are playing their best and rising to the challenge before them. Pitt is choking. Deal with that seasonover2013.

    • grilledjesus - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      It was also after Cookie tried to engage Chara after he was already engaged(and being hit by tough guy Malkin from behind), and Lucic took him head on. If Cooke wants to act like a hard dick then stop turtling like a beotch when a guy call you on your crap.

  9. drewsylvania - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Who should wear the C for Pittsburgh?

  10. lindjd - Jun 8, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Hey, if the dog had not stopped to take a —– (smell) he would have caught the rabbit. Poor King Crosby and company got their crowns dented and along with the collective arrogancia. Hockey is a game but you have to play it to win. As they say, all that is left now is the shouting.

  11. irokkit - Jun 8, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    RAH RAH RAH!!!
    Stats don’t mean squat until the fat lady sings
    Go Boston!!!

  12. irokkit - Jun 8, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    @season20122013

    Shuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut UP!!!!!!

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