With eight report cards down, we’re heading into double-digits, as TheHubofHockey.net carries on with its daily evaluations of each member of the 2010-11 NHL Stanley Cup Champs, Boston Bruins.
Today’s episode: former Ottawa Senator, center Chris Kelly.
Name: Chris Kelly
Weight: 189 lbs.
Contract: $2.125 million through 2011-12 NHL season
2010-11 NHL season stats:
Regular season: 81 GP, 14-14–28, minus-13, 33 PIM, 113 SOG
Post season: 25 GP, 5-8–13, plus-11, 6 PIM, 28 SOG
Line combinations (dobberhockey.com)
Regular season EV: Michael Ryder, Rich Peverley 30.43%; Peverley, Tyler Seguin 28.68%
Post season EV: Ryder, Peverley 35.34%; Ryder, Seguin 24.15%
Regular season PK: Peverley 75.16%; Gregory Campbell 7.01%
Post season PK: Peverley 45.31%; Campbell 36.98%
Anthony’s take: After coming to the Bruins from the Ottawa Senators at the NHL’s trade deadline, Kelly didn’t do much to spark confidence in Bruins fans. In 24 games with the Bruins, Kelly had just five points (two goals). Then the postseason came and a new Kelly was born.
Kelly came up huge for the Bruins in the early rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, coming up with some very important goals, none bigger than the game-tying-goal In the late stages of the Bruins must win Game 4 in the opening round against the Montreal Canadiens, a game the Bruins won in overtime. Kelly finished the NHL’s second season with 13 points (5 goals) but really was a huge presence for the Bruins.
Playing on the third line Kelly logged some key minutes for the Black and Gold, and did a great job shutting down the potent Canucks offense during the Stanley Cup Finals. Kelly is certainly not a star, but defiantly another guy who was a key factor into the Bruins taking home Lord Stanleys Cup.
Final grade: B-
Tim’s turn: When Chris Kelly arrived from the Ottawa Senators in mid-February — in the first of three trades by Peter Chiarelli and company around the trade deadline — many thought he would be one who would help with the penalty kill and the faceoff department.
Kelly wasn’t necessarily known for his offense — 28 points in 81 games in the 2010-11 regular season with Boston and Ottawa — but he provided some clutch moments for the Black and Gold during the postseason, particularly against Montreal, notching six points (four goals, three assists) on a line with Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley. The former Senator also persevered a facial injury throughout that series and supported a full cage on his helmet for protection.
While his offensive production dipped a little after getting rid of the cage, Kelly stayed very consistent in the faceoff circle and remained one of the teams top performers on the PK. It’s safe to say that Kelly slightly exceeded expectations upon his arrival and should continue to be a solid third line center in 2011-12.
Final grade: B+
Marino’s grade: Five points (two goals) a minus-1 ranting, and exactly one shot on goal per game average in his 24 games in a Bruins sweater, Kelly didn’t exactly pan-out to be the difference maker that the fans in The Hub were looking for. But, he did prove his worth not only on the PK, but on the face-off dot as well (over 53%). Once aquired by Boston, the team added another left-handed face-off man on the squad — without Marc Savard, Gregory Campbell was the only other lefty.
But it was clear as daylight in the post season, what Kelly did, that made Chiarelli ditch a second-round pick for the 30-year-old. Kelly became the ideal teammate, perfect fit, and one of those role players that they couldn’t have gone without. No. 23 logged just over two-minutes per game on the penalty-kill, was second among all forwards in total shorthanded time on ice, and was in the top-third of the packed roster in total points (13).
Final grade: B
(FWD to 3:15)