The first half of 2019-2020 NHL season has been nothing short of exciting for the Boston Bruins and their loyal fan base. From copious amounts of come from behind wins, numerous third period comebacks, and the continuation of more than one rivalry, the second half is sure to be a treat if it’s anything like the second half. Lets take a look at my first half awards for the Bruins.
MVP – David Pastrnak
This award took a little bit more thinking than one might have thought. With the incredible season that David Pastrnak has been having so far this year, Brad Marchand is hot on his tail. Pastrnak is getting all of the attention because he’s scored more goals. A league leading amount of goals to be exact (28). But Brad Marchand has ten more assists, giving him one more total point than Pastrnak so far this season. The part that separated Pastrnak from Marchand for me is the fact that Pastrnak is the heart and soul of the Bruins powerplay. With the scoring issues that the Bruins have had so far this year, that powerplay is more important than ever.
Most improved – Anders Bjork
Anders Bjork has essentially been plagued by injuries so far in his career. This year he’s been able to stay healthy. While staying healthy, Bjork has been able to correct a lot of his mistakes that have kept him in Providence for most of the healthy part of his career. He’s much more aggressive off the puck, and he has been pivotal in the secondary scoring game for the Bruins.
Defenseman of the year – Zdeno Chara
I know, I know. Not Torey Krug? Unlike so many fans nowadays, I value defense from defenseman more than I value offense from offense from defenseman. Captain Zdeno Chara leads Bruins defenseman in plus/minus and is second on the team in fact, trailing only Brad Marchand (current plus/minus sits at 20). Chara actually has the same amount of goals as Torey Krug with five. Krug has thirteen more assists however. The thirteen assists are undoubtedly important to the Bruins, but Chara is just more of a shutdown defenseman. That, plus the fact that Chara is so much of a physical presents, Chara takes it for me.
Goalie of the year – Jaroslav Halak
How many teams would even have to ask this? Not many. But with the Bruins having arguably the best goalie duo in the league, its worth a discussion. Jarslav Halak takes the award for me because, well, he’s been the better goalie thus far. More shutouts (3), a better save percentage (.928), and less goals against average (2.22) all while playing in seven less games. This success from Halak is important for the Bruins in more ways than one. Halak playing well means he plays more. If he plays more, that means Tuukka Rask has more energy and is less banged up for the playoffs. But until then, Halak has impressed me more so far.
Credit to fiveminutesforfighting.com for the featured photo.