By the numbers: How the Bruins, Blues match up

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CloseEditor for NFL and NHL crew, in addition to a contributing hockey author. Beforehand with ESPN The Journal, ESPN Chalk and ESPN Fantasy. Joined ESPN in 2012 after graduating from Colgate College.

The 2019 Stanley Cup Ultimate begins Monday night time, with the Boston Bruins looking for their second championship up to now decade and the St. Louis Blues on the lookout for their first title. Let’s study the numbers to see simply how the 2 groups stack up in each class.

Observe: Statistics marked with an asterisk are from Pure Stat Trick; all others are from And the numbers are all from the 2019 playoffs, except in any other case famous.


StatTargets/game3.353.00Targets in opposition to/game1.942.53Targets/60 min.*Three.262.91Targets in opposition to/60 min.*1.892.45Anticipated targets/60 min.*Three.Zero22.71Anticipated targets in opposition to/60 min.*2.592.50

2 Associated

Look no additional than these first two numbers to see how dominant the Bruins have been since mid-April. Solely the Vegas Golden Knights — who had been ousted within the first spherical over seven video games — have extra targets per sport in these playoffs than Boston’s Three.35. And it is no fluke. The Bruins had been simply exterior the highest 10 in scoring this season at Three.13 targets per sport. St. Louis’ Three.Zero targets per sport is also respectable — tied for third within the playoffs and only a tad forward of the Blues’ 2.98 regular-season charge.

A whopping 20 of the Blues’ targets have come from both Jaden Schwartz (12) or Vladimir Tarasenko (Eight), whereas the trio of Patrice Bergeron (Eight), David Pastrnak (7) and Brad Marchand (7) have tallied 22 for the Bruins. Per Elias Sports activities Bureau analysis, Schwartz is the third participant in NHL postseason historical past to attain extra targets within the playoffs than the common season, of gamers with a minimum of 10 regular-season targets, becoming a member of Claude Lemieux (1996-97) and Marian Gaborik (2013-14).

Within the defensive division, it has been all Tuukka Rask. The 32-year-old Bruins netminder has turned again the clock over the previous month, taking part in on a unique degree than everybody else. Each the Bruins and Blues ranked within the prime 5 in targets in opposition to per sport through the common season, with Boston third at 2.59 and St. Louis fifth at 2.68.


StatPhotographs/sport33.630.9Shots in opposition to/sport32.428.4Shooting pct.10.0percent9.7percentFaceoff pct.53.Three%49.4percentHits510558Blocked pictures247274Giveaways165195Takeaways122177

Tarasenko and Bergeron are the shot leaders for his or her golf equipment through the postseason, with 64 and 63, respectively. Bergeron additionally stays the gold normal on the faceoff dot, successful 59.Three p.c of his attracts.

In relation to blocking pictures, Charlie McAvoy and Alex Pietrangelo stand out. They’ve every blocked 2.1 pictures per sport through the playoffs.

A key for St. Louis in slowing Boston may be sporting the Bruins down with bodily play. Blues winger Sammy Blais solely has performed eight video games this postseason, however he has recorded 48 hits in that point. Oskar Sundqvist, Brayden Schenn and Ivan Barbashev all have a minimum of 50. Chris Wagner leads the Bruins with 44 within the postseason. The suitable winger had 247 through the common season, although, which was greater than any St. Louis participant and good for 11th within the NHL.

Particular groups

StatEnergy play34.Zero%19.4percentHome energy play26.9%29.0percentAway energy play41.7percent9.7percentPenalty kill86.Three%78.0percentHome penalty kill87.5%82.3percentAway penalty kill85.2%75.0percentPenalty minutes/game6:216:18

It will be clever for the Blues to keep away from the penalty field in any respect prices. The Bruins are scoring on 34 p.c of their power-play alternatives within the playoffs, together with a ridiculous 41.7 p.c away from TD Backyard. A gifted quintet of Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk and Torey Krug have 5 targets along with the person benefit through the playoffs — and 14 through the common season — whereas producing 22 scoring possibilities in practically 23 minutes, in response to Pure Stat Trick. They’ve put greater than 20 p.c of their power-play pictures behind the web whereas skating collectively.

The Blues have experimented with a couple of completely different No. 1 power-play combos, flexing Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn out and in on the purpose, whereas additionally subbing David Perron and Schwartz for one another on the wing. Tarasenko leads the crew with 5 power-play targets.

Boston additionally holds the benefit whereas short-handed. A part of that’s actually Rask’s .924 save proportion on the penalty kill, as in comparison with Jordan Binnington’s .833. However the unit as an entire has been terrific; the Bruins enable six fewer scoring possibilities per 60 minutes whereas down a person than the Blues do (47.2 versus 53.Four). And neither McAvoy nor Joakim Nordstrom has been on the ice for a short-handed objective in opposition to, regardless of every seeing greater than 25 such minutes.


BinningtonSave pct.Zero.9420.914GAA1.842.36Even-strength save pct.Zero.9450.926Even-strength GAA*1.652.03Excessive-danger save pct.*Zero.8920.786Shutouts21

Contemplate the truth that Rask’s anticipated goals-against common is 2.55, in response to Pure Stat Trick. His precise quantity is Zero.71 decrease than that this postseason. His 13.6 goals-saved-against common is tops within the NHL through the playoffs by greater than six, and solely Dallas’ Ben Bishop challenges his .892 save proportion on high-danger alternatives. Rask is on one other degree proper now, harking back to the unbelievable playoff run of Tim Thomas for Boston in 2011.

With the prospect to shut the door on a crew, Rask carries an unbelievable .990 save proportion (95 saves on 96 pictures) with three wins and two shutouts by way of three rounds.

Coming into the postseason, although, it was all concerning the different goalie. Binnington exploded onto scene seemingly out of nowhere when he grew to become the full-time starter in January. He posted a .927 save proportion through the common season, together with .936 at even energy, and a 1.89 goals-against common — as a rookie. His numbers have come again to earth a bit within the postseason, however he’s nonetheless a driving power for the Blues. He has allowed simply two targets in his previous three video games, all wins.

For the Blues to win the Cup, they should win a minimum of one sport on the highway. And with such a win, Binnington would tie Ron Hextall’s document of eight playoff highway victories by a rookie.


StatCorsi-for pct.51.2%51.1percentCorsi-for pct. in shut video games51.7%51.5percentScoring possibilities/60 min.*27.326.6Scoring possibilities in opposition to/60 min.*26.826.7

The possession numbers are all just about even. The most important Corsi monsters of the postseason for these two groups are Schwartz (57.2 p.c) and Bergeron (56.9 p.c).

Throughout the common season, Boston was more practical within the superior possession quantity sport, rolling out a 53.1 Corsi proportion. The Blues had been at 51.5 p.c.

Boston additionally has a slight benefit in scoring likelihood differential through the playoffs, posting a 50.9 scoring likelihood proportion, versus St. Louis’ 49.9. In all, 13 Bruins who’ve performed a minimum of 10 postseason video games have generated extra scoring possibilities than they allowed. St. Louis has 11 such gamers.

Sport tendencies

StatDocument with first-period lead7-16-1Record with two-period lead11-08-1Record with first-period deficit0-12-5Record with two-period deficit1-32-5Record in one-goal games3-48-3Record when scoring first11-210-3Record when not scoring first1-32-Four

The most important takeaway right here is the Bruins will take the lead and never give it up. They’ve gone 11-Zero when main after two frames and 11-2 when scoring first.

Throughout the common season, St. Louis was higher when holding a lead after two durations, however Boston confirmed a capability to come back again from deficits.

Within the postseason, the Blues have discovered a technique to win powerful one-goal video games, going Eight-Three in these. But Boston really was higher than St. Louis in these contests through the common season.


StatCommon season, 20 targets53Common season, 30 targets31Common season, 50 factors53Common season, 70 factors41Common season, 90 factors10Playoffs, 10 factors67

Boston has had 19 completely different objective scorers through the playoffs, whereas St. Louis has had 18. Each groups have 4 gamers with a minimum of 5 targets.

St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly had one of the best season of his 10-year profession, scoring 28 targets and posting 77 factors at practically a point-per-game tempo. Tarasenko hit the 30-goal mark for the fifth straight season, topping the Blues with 33. Pietrangelo was the excessive point-getter from the blue line, scoring 13 targets and tallying 41 factors.

In Beantown, Marchand littered stat sheets. He hit the century mark in factors, and solely 4 NHL gamers bested his 100-point season. Even nonetheless, Pastrnak really led the crew in targets with 38. DeBrusk introduced his arrival onto the scene in yr two with 27 targets, and David Krejci’s 73-point season represented his greatest since 2008-09. Krug’s 53 factors led Boston defensemen, with 30 approaching the ability play.

Prime strains

StatCorsi-for pct.*65.Zero%61.8percentShots-on-goal pct.*66.7%57.5percentScoring likelihood pct.*65.6%62.0percentHigh-danger shot try pct.*69.1%64.4percentGoals for-against*18-35-6Bruins prime line of Pastrnak-Bergeron-MarchandBlues prime line of Schwartz-Schenn-Tarasenko

The Bruins’ prime line is taken into account by many to be one of the best in hockey. It scored 11 targets and did not enable a single one within the Japanese Convention finals. The trio of Pastrnak, Bergeron and Marchand mixed for 106 targets and 260 factors this season, they usually’ve lit the lamp 22 occasions through the postseason — together with 18 occasions whereas skating collectively. Maybe St. Louis’ largest key to taking down Boston can be determining the best way to sluggish that prime line.

The Blues have toyed with their strains a bit extra, however they settled in with a No. 1 unit of Schwartz, Schenn and Tarasenko since Sport 6 of the second spherical. In contrast to Boston’s prime line, it is not made up of the crew’s best gamers, with the Blues opting to unfold out the offense a bit extra. If Schwartz’s shocking scorching streak cools within the Ultimate, anticipate coach Craig Berube to reshuffle once more.

Prime defensive pairings

StatCorsi-for pct.*44.6%52.3percentShots-on-goal pct.*46.Four%58.9percentScoring likelihood pct.*46.9%51.6percentHigh-danger shot try pct.*42.7%50.0percentGoals for-against*13-57-6Bruins prime pairing of Chara-McAvoyBlues prime pairing of Edmundson-Pietrangelo

St. Louis has extra defensive depth than Boston, and it begins with the highest pairing of Pietrangelo and Joel Edmundson. Pietrangelo has been the workhorse this yr, skating north of 24 minutes per night time — his 24:05 was 18th within the league — and netting Zero.58 factors per sport.

For the Bruins, Zdeno Chara, now 42 years previous, is not what he was, however he has been satisfactory sufficient subsequent to McAvoy. He sat out the final sport of the Japanese Convention finals, however Chara seems on monitor to play Monday. McAvoy missed time for the second straight season of his younger profession, however he’s trying like a future elite NHL blueliner.

The Blues unfold the wealth all through their D corps. They’ve three blueliners with double-digit targets on the season; Boston has zero. The defensive group would possibly simply be the Blues’ largest benefit heading into the Ultimate.

In any other case, it is all Boston.

Due to Vince Masi of ESPN Stats & Info for added analysis on this story.

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