With their victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, the Boston Bruins have battled their way to a 3-1-0 victory. They have outscored opponents 14-4 in their last three games. It is a sizeable feat for a team who lost their opening-night matchup against the Washington Capitals by a score of 7-0.
As the Bruins look to gain more victories as a unit, they also have ones to look forward to at the individual level. A number of players on Boston’s squad are within shouting distance of career milestones. This includes many of the team’s most notable players such as Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Torey Krug.
Bruins Looking for Goals
There is quite the number of Bruins who will be looking to meet a milestone in the goal department. This includes Bergeron, Pastrnak, and Chara.
Patrice Bergeron – 300 Goals
Bergeron entered the season with 288 goals in his career, but two empty-netters and a hat trick later, the alternate captain rests just six scores shy of the 300-mark. Bergeron’s defensive play often overshadows just how much of an offensive threat he is. Though he may not bring home the Rocket Richard Trophy anytime soon, the centerman is still a consistent goal-scorer. Since the 2010-11 season, the 33-year-old hasn’t failed to score more than 20 goals in a season. That excludes the abbreviated 2012-13 season, but even then the Quebec native potted 10 goals in 42 games which had him on pace for between 19 and 20 goals if he was able to play a full schedule.
When he’s not scoring or holding his own in the defensive end, Bergeron is helping his teammates score goals of their own. To-date, he has tallied 448 assists – his career-high coming in the form of 48 helpers when he was just 21 years old. You can expect Bergeron to break the 300-goal threshold before his 1,000th NHL appearances which is just another milestone the four-time Selke Trophy winner is expected to meet this season. As of Thursday’s win over the Oilers, the forward has skated in 967 NHL contests dating back to 2006.
Zdeno Chara – 200 Goals
Zdeno Chara is one of the most feared players in the league. He thwarts scoring chances with ease, he uses his 6-foot-9 frame to hit and fight, and he has the hardest slapshot in the NHL. The defenseman has put that slapshot to use time and time again, and it has helped put him in reach of the 200-goal milestone.
Thanks to a goal against the Buffalo Sabres this season, Chara now rests at 196 tallies in his career. He hasn’t come close to reaching his career-high of 19 goals during the 2008-09 season in recent years, but Boston’s captain hasn’t dipped below seven in a single campaign since joining the team. This makes another four goals attainable, though it may not be achieved until the new year begins. Last season, Chara tallied seven goals in 73 games and will undoubtedly be determined to meet the 200-goal milestone – while still playing shut-down defense.
David Pastrnak – 100 Goals
Pastrnak is now just two goals shy of potting the 100th of his young career. The winger really took flight in the 2016-17 season when he scored 34 goals and 36 assists in 75 games. He then followed that up with 35 goals and 45 assists during the 2017-18 campaign.
The Czech native is now well-known by all of his opponents as a lethal goal-scorer, but that hasn’t proven to be a problem for him just yet. Pastrnak has already tallied four goals in four games this season. It is early, but that puts the first-round draft pick on pace for 82 goals this year – making a 40-goal season a strong possibility. Nevertheless, Pastrnak could very well meet the milestone as soon as Saturday’s matchup against the Detroit Red Wings. With the likes of Brad Marchand and Bergeron on his line, the odds are certainly tilted in his favor of achieving the milestone very soon.
Bruins Hunting for Helpers
There are two Bruins looking to tally a small number of assists in order to meet their own respective milestones. Both are veteran centermen and second-round selections.
David Krejci – 400 Assists
David Krejci is closing in on his 400th career assist – in fact, he is just two helpers away from meeting the milestone. The 32-year-old is well known for his play-making abilities, getting the puck to his wingers even when there doesn’t seem to be a passing lane. During seasons in which Krejci has appeared in 70 or more games, he has never dipped below 30 assists and more often than not has been able to break the 40-assist threshold.
He is also able to notch a few goals himself. The centerman has consistently hovered around 20 goals each season and, when he is healthy, is capable of tallying over 60 points in a single campaign. Krejci has skated in 773 NHL contests to date – all with Boston – and is now just a few setups away from 400 career assists.
David Backes – 300 Assists
David Backes has been a bit more well-rounded than Krejci throughout his career. Instead of piling on assists, the 34-year-old has a somewhat even spread between goals and assists. With 862 career games under his belt, Backes currently rests at 237 goals and 294 assists.
The centerman is most known for his ferocity: he dishes out big hits, battles for rebounds in the slot, and isn’t afraid to drop the mitts in the defense of his teammates. However, Backes was consistently a 50-point producer in his prime, and as a veteran is still able to add to his career numbers. This drive to keep producing even in the latter stages of his career is a big reason why Backes is just six helpers away from the 300 mark.
Other Career Milestones
There are two other career milestones coming up for the Bruins. They are both being sought for by defensemen.
Torey Krug – 400 Games
Torey Krug has been sidelined to begin the 2018-19 season due to an ankle injury suffered during the preseason. However, the Bruins will be reevaluating the injury in just a few short weeks. Once the defenseman is cleared to take the ice, he will be zeroing in on his 400th career NHL contest.
Krug currently rests at 398 career appearances during which he has tallied 52 goals and 183 assists. The 27-year-old is well known for his movement of the puck, always seeming to be among Boston’s top producers despite being somewhat restricted by the blue line. He has been a savior to the Bruins who seemed to struggle in the transition game in the years before Krug. He is now just two games away from the 400 marker, and you can bet he is itching to get back out onto the ice and help out his team.
John Moore – 100 Points
John Moore has bounced around the NHL quite a bit. He started his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets before moving on to the New York Rangers, Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils, and finally the Bruins. Throughout his career, Moore has been best known for his defensive play rather than claiming fame on the scoresheet. However, the defenseman is closing in on a milestone in regard to his point total.
When Moore records his first point with the Bruins, it will be the 100th of his career. He has never tallied more than 22 in a single season but has never dipped below 15 during campaigns in which he has appeared in more than 70 games. It just takes something as simple as a pass in transition or something as electric as a slap shot from the point. Either way, Moore should be tallying his 100th-career point sooner rather than later.
A number of Bruins could very well meet their respective milestones within their next game. Some, such as Krug and Chara, may have to wait a while before celebrating their feats. However, it is rare for a team to have so many individuals closing in on milestones at the same time.
All of these players vary in age as well, with Pastrnak being the youngest at 22 and Backes being on the older end of the spectrum at 34. Four of the seven Bruins hunting down their milestones have been with the team for the entirety of their NHL careers so far. It will certainly be exciting to see a number of dedicated Bruins receiving a game puck in the near future – some potentially even in the same game. For the time being, we will sit in anticipation as we count down the tallies until each individual’s milestone has been achieved.
I cover the Boston Bruins and NCAA Hockey here at The Hockey Writers. Born and raised 10 miles north of Boston, I developed a love for the game of ice hockey at a very young age. There’s really nothing better than this sport, though steak is a close second.