He is tied for second place in scoring on the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Is it Brad Marchand? Tyler Seguin? Patrice Bergeron? If you guessed any of those players, you’re wrong. The correct answer is Johnny Boychuk.
Boychuk has four goals in the post-season while he only tallied one goal during the regular season (January 19th vs. the Rangers on his birthday). He is the first Bruins defenseman since Ray Bourque in 1991 to score four goals in his first 10 games of a post season.
Boychuk has stepped up significantly in the absence of Dennis Seidenberg, Wade Redden and Andrew Ference. There is no doubt about that, but the big surprise is his scoring ability in the series versus both the Maple Leafs and Rangers.
The blue-liner may have more than four goals if a few bounces when his way. He has hit multiple posts and crossbars throughout these playoff games.
Teammate Shawn Thornton joked on why Boychuk was scoring so many goals all of a sudden.
“We told him to start taking wrist shots and stop tickling the rafters,” Thornton said.
Although Boychuk is really standing out right now from the defensive end, he did not shy away from giving his whole defensive unit the credit they deserve.
“They’ve been doing a good job all of the young guys coming in and stepping their game up,” Boychuk said. “We need them to step up for us to have a good chance to win the game with a couple of our veterans out and they’ve been doing a good job by keeping it simple, getting shots through and scoring when they get that chance.”
Boychuk is the true playoff player. He is risking his body night in and night out-diving in front of pucks, bodying up opposing players and receiving nasty hits all game long. He is the warrior the Black and Gold need besides Zdeno Chara (with Seidenberg out).
Boychuk and the B’s defense have recorded 11 of their 30 points (5 goals, 6 assists) this series.
“Trying to move the puck quick, limiting their time and space,” Boychuk said. “We’ve been doing a good job defensively, but we have to keep doing that or else they could turn the tide and obviously we don’t want that, and we’ve been playing good defensively. Our forwards have been helping out with the push backs and that’s something we have to continue to do.”
In 44 games this regular season, Boychuk tallied one goal and five assists while sporting a plus-5. Many of the things he does do not show up in the stat sheet, but in these 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, everything he is doing is showing up in the stat sheet because he is finding the back of the net almost every single game.
Boychuk will look to light the lamp again Thursday night when the B’s look to bring out the brooms at Madison Square Garden.