In order of jersey number, each player will be highlighted. In today’s edition, we have Bruins Defensemen No. 55 Johnny Boychuk
Name: Johnny Boychuk
Weight: 225 lbs.
Contract: $1.87 Million through 2011-12
2010-11 NHL Season stats:
Regular season: 69 GP, 3-13–16, plus-15, 45 PIM, 154 SOG
Playoffs: 25 GP, 3-6–9, plus-12, 12 PIM, 51 SOG
Line combinations (dobberhockey.com):
EV: Zdeno Chara 48.35 % Andrew Ference 68.03 % in post season
PP: Dennis Seidenberg 45.64 % Kaberle 52.17 % in post season
PK: Chara 59.93 % Ference 46.26 % in post season
Anthony’s Take: After a rookie season in 2009-10 that saw Boychuk post 15 points and play some great defense, Boychuk’s play dipped this year. Although his point total increased by one-point his play in his own zone took a step back.
Boychuk battled through injuries throughout the season that certainly didn’t help his game, but it seemed like Boychuk was lost out there at times. Boychuk had 9 points in the playoffs including the game-winning-goal in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Boychuk really struggled during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Between Games 5 and 6 of the series, Boychuk was on the ice for six straight goals scored by the Lightning. The Bruins hope that No. 55 can regain his confidence, and bounce back for the Bruins in the upcoming season.
Tim’s Turn: It seemed like Johnny Boychuk would take a step back from his 2009-10 rookie campaign by the end of the 2010-11 regular season. And at certain moments during the postseason, that statement could have been proven true after a few mishaps during the Conference Finals against Tampa and in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against Vancouver.
But looking at the bigger picture, Boychuk provided the Bruins with that physical presence even after his injury back in October. And by the time he was paired with Andrew Ference in Game 3 of the Montreal series, the duo provided a good secondary option to the top pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg.
Case in point, Boychuk was inconsistent at times, but would make up for it in the long run with a timely goal — as seen in Game 7 against the Habs — or clutch defensive play like the one he made against Bolts forward Teddy Purcell in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Boychuk will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2011-12 season and could be in for a decent raise assuming he continues to progress.