The expectations have been so massive for Charlie McAvoy for so long that it’s easy to forget he’s only played two NHL seasons.
His entrance to the NHL in the 2017 playoffs put those projections there, and while McAvoy has yet to become the Drew Doughty clone some saw him as at BU, he’s clearly one of the best young defensemen in the NHL.
But with McAvoy, it’s never really been about what he’s been at the moment. Watching him in World Juniors, we all said he’d be a star in the NHL. Watching him log more than 26 minutes a night against the Senators at the end of his sophomore year of college, we pegged him as the Bruins’ eventual No. 1 defensemen.
Injuries have halted both of those paths here and there, as detractors can point to a season like 2018-19 and say he shouldn’t be anointed until he’s truly done it for 82 games.
That’s coming, however, and a franchise that’s been lucky enough to have some of the greatest to ever play the position will have its next clear-cut No. 1. He'll have a Norris before all is said and done.
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The NHL season has been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, meaning we may have to wait a while to watch the Boston Bruins again.
As a way to make up for the loss of Bruins action, we'll be using the EA Sports NHL 20 video game to simulate each game on Boston's schedule until they finally return to action.
The Boston Bruins were supposed to take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at PNC Arena, here's how our simulation of that game went.
The B's fell to the Canes 1-0 on a flukey third-period goal that slipped by Tuukka Rask.
Here are the game stats:
Three Stars of the Game + Game Stats
Anton Forsberg, Tuukka Rask and Andrei Svechnikov were the three stars of the game. The Hurricanes led in shots with 25 and they also had three power-play opportunities that they squandered. The Bruins seemed to have passed too much in the offensive zone and didn't take enough shots on goal in the loss when comparing the shots to their time on attack.
Bruins Individual Stats
Charlie McAvoy led all B's skaters in ice time with 23:42 while David Krejci and David Pastrnak each had three shots on goal. Tuukka Rask stopped 24 of 25 shots in the loss, but the defense didn't help them out too much.
Hurricanes Individual Stats
Jaccob Slavin led all Hurricanes skaters in ice time with 24:11 and Martin Necas led in shots with four. Anton Forsberg stopped all 17 shots faced and the Hurricanes sneak by with a flukey goal from Andrei Svechnikov.
FINAL SCORE: Hurricanes 1, Bruins 0
Bruins Record (Includes simulated games): 47-16-14 (107 points)
*NOTE: We did not include Boston's games against the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs or Florida Panthers in the simulation, therefore the simulated record isn't 100 percent accurate*
Next Simulation: vs. St. Louis Blues on Thursday
Be sure to keep an eye out for our Bruins vs. Blues simulation which is set to drop on Thursday.
We aren't the only ones enjoying sports video games to pass the time and get their competitive fix. Even the B's Anton Blidh is enjoying his time off with a little virtual sports action.
March 31 is a special day in the history books of the Boston Bruins franchise.
Hall of Fame forward Phil Esposito scored his 70th goal (an NHL record at the time) of the 1970-71 season on this day, becoming the first Bruins player to hit that goal-scoring milestone.
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Esposito's 76 goals in the 1970-71 season still stand as a Bruins record for a single campaign.
Bruins right winger David Pastrnak was making a run at 60 goals earlier this season. The 23-year-old star currently sits at 48 goals with the season suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Pastrnak is tied for the league lead with Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.
If the 2019-20 season doesn't resume or the league decides to go straight to the Stanley Cup Playoffs upon returning, Pastrnak would be the first Bruins player to win or share the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer since Esposito in 1974-75.