Bruins

Here's where Bruins stand on NHL Network's top centers, wings rankings

Here's where Bruins stand on NHL Network's top centers, wings rankings

August isn't the most robust time for NHL news, so what better way to create some excitement than some good old fashioned debate?

The NHL Network has been releasing its rankings of the top players at each position this month, and the lists for centers and wings were the first to be revealed.

Bruins fans likely won't have too many issues with the top 20 wingers ranking. Bruins left winger Brad Marchand is at No. 4, while right winger David Pastrnak is at No. 10. Sure, Pastrnak could be higher after scoring 38 goals in just 66 games last season, but the competition here was quite strong.

Here's a look at the top 20 wingers in the league, according to NHL Network:

The ranking where Bruins fans might take issue with is centers. Patrice Bergeron, despite being the top two-way player in the league (sorry Ryan O'Reilly), comes in at No. 7. For what it's worth, the fans voted Bergeron at No. 3 among all centers.

Here's the full list of NHL Network's top 20 centers.

Bergeron tallied 79 points (32 goals, 47 assists) in 65 games last season, in addition to his excellent work defensively and on special teams. His nine goals tied for the team lead in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. Aleksander Barkov and Nathan MacKinnon are really good players, but are they both better than Bergeron right now? Probably not. 

The Bruins star was voted the league's third-best all-around player in The Athletic's player poll released in February, so we know Bergeron's peers understand his immense value to the B's and how he impacts the game in so many ways at a high level.

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Talking Points from the B's 4-3 overtime loss to the Leafs

Talking Points from the B's 4-3 overtime loss to the Leafs

Here are Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs Saturday night in Toronto.

GOLD STAR: Mitch Marner once again played the role of Bruins killer setting up the overtime game-winner and a very strong game overall. Marner fired one past a tiring B’s trio on the final play of the game and finished with two assists, four shots on net, two hits and five takeaways while playing strong hockey at both ends of the ice. It was interesting to see the Leafs load up with Marner and Auston Matthews on one line to combat what the Bruins are doing with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak and it worked out in their favor on Saturday night. Marner now has five goals and 19 points in 13 games along with a plus-9 rating against the Black and Gold, and that doesn’t even count the damage he’s done in the playoffs.

BLACK EYE: Sean Kuraly had a rough night. He fumbled around with the puck in the Bruins zone in a play that ended up leading to Toronto’s second goal and he had to be bailed out in the second period when another D-zone turnover led to a quality scoring chance for Tyson Barrie. Kuraly finished with a minus-1 in 14:12 of ice time while landing just one shot on net, committing the two giveaways and generally fighting the puck all night when it was on his stick. He did finish with five hits so at least he came around with some physicality while realizing that other parts of his game were not good, but it wasn’t a banner night at all for Kuraly and the B’s fourth line.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins had a gassed unit on the ice toward the end of the 3-on-3 OT as Brad Marchand, Charlie Coyle and Torey Krug were left out against Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly and Mitch Marner, and that’s really the kind of scenario where the Maple Leafs are going to enjoy a pretty big advantage. So predictably the Leafs waited out the Bruins trio and then scored with Mitch Marner’s shot getting deflected by Morgan Rielly into the back of the net for the OT game-winner. The 60-minute regulation game was very entertaining with back-and-forth from both teams as one has come to expect over the last few years, and felt more like a midseason game than something just a couple of weeks into a new year.

HONORABLE MENTION: The Bruins were riding David Pastrnak, who finished with a big game-tying goal toward the end of the third period to force things into overtime. The goal gave the Bruins a hard-fought point and gave Pastrnak his NHL-leading ninth goal of the season as he continues to be red-hot to start the season. Pastrnak finished with a goal, two points, five shot attempts and a couple of hits and a blocked shot while overcoming five giveaways in a game where the puck was on his stick quite a bit. It was the sizzling short side one-timer in the final five minutes of the third period, though, that registers as the biggest play of the game for the Bruins. The nine goals and 15 points in eight games is something else.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the first goal of the season for Jake DeBrusk after scoring late in the first period, a development that the Bruins hope leads to a hot streak for the left winger. Truth be told DeBrusk could have had two or three goals based on the chances he was getting, but he’ll take busting out of his slump.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It was nice. You don’t want to rely on the top guys every night. Obviously they’ve been on fire but the rest of us also want to chip in.” –Danton Heinen, who also supplied some offense with his PP goal at the start of the third period.

HAGGERTY: Two low-cost options for B's scoring woes>>>

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Highlights from the Bruins' 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs

Highlights from the Bruins' 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs

FINAL SCORE: Leafs 4, Bruins 3

IN BRIEF: The Bruins secondary scorers stepped up against the Toronto Maple Leafs, as they came back from a 2-0 deficit with goals from Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen. After going down again, David Pastrnak and the Perfection Line struck to tie it up in the final five minutes, but the team would go on to lose in overtime.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 5-1-2 (12 points)

HIGHLIGHTS:

MORGAN RIELLY SCORES OFF LUCKY BOUNCE

DMYTRO TIMASHEV NETS FIRST NHL GOAL

JAKE DEBRUSK NETS FIRST GOAL OFF SLICK FEED FROM CHARLIE COYLE

DANTON HEINEN LEVELS GAME ON POWER-PLAY STRIKE

ALEXANDER KERFOOT ANSWERS HEINEN GOAL ALMOST IMMEDIATELY

DAVID PASTRNAK TIES IT WITH NINTH GOAL OF SEASON

TORONTO ENDS GAME WITH OT DAGGER

UP NEXT:
vs. Maple Leafs, Tuesday, 7 p.m., NESN

HAGGERTY: Two low-cost options for B's scoring woes>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.