By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
When it came to the 2019-20 Boston Bruins, it seems as if we spent so much time worrying about a potential Stanley Cup Hangover that we didn't even think about a potential Stanley Cup Loss Revenge Tour.
And while a season is not defined by its first 12 games, there's little evidence to dispel the "Revenge Tour" theory to date, with the Bruins grabbing 20 of a possible 24 points by way of their 9-1-2 record. It's good for the best point percentage in all of hockey through October, and has put the Black and Gold at the top of every power ranking worth a damn.
But their success goes beyond the wins and (few) losses, so let's take a look at 10 noteworthy numbers out of the gate..
.962 - The save percentage of the Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask tandem when the Bruins are playing up by a goal, with stops on all but five of the 131 shots thrown on net in almost 220 minutes of the B's playing with a one-goal edge. Protect (and extend) leads to this degree and you're going to be an almost impossibly difficult challenge for any team. Related: Keeping Halak, a pending unrestricted free agent, signed beyond this year may just be as important as re-upping Torey Krug and Charlie Coyle. The impact Halak has as the 1B that performs at a starter level but also keeps Rask fresh for the postseason is invaluable. Not sure the Bruins are getting that from any of their in-house options in Providence or on the free agent market in 2020.
58.5% - This is the percentage of Boston goals in 2019-20 scored by a member of the team's first line with Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. We've made a lot of this team seemingly carrying the Bruins for large chunks of the opening month of 2019-20, but this number was over 70 percent at one point this month, meaning the B's are inching towards a more palatable balance. This line had accounted for 22 of Boston's 37 goals (59.5 percent) this time last year, and finished the year scoring 41.2 percent of the B's total goals (106 of 257).
With David Krejci back and healthy, you should see that 58.5 percent number begin to dip back down to 50 percent (and probably even lower), unless this Boston power-play unit continues to be an unstoppable beast that makes even the league's best penalty-killing unit look like children out there.
19:43 - Of shorthanded domination from the Bergeron-Marchand duo. On the ice for just under 20 minutes of penalty-killing time, the Bruins have allowed just one goal and 12 shots on goal over with this duo out there killing clock and penalties while down a man. For additional context on their success down a man, consider this: The Bruins have allowed five goals on 34 shots on goal in 35:13 of shorthanded play without the Bergeron-Marchand pairing on the ice. It's a sizable difference.
12 - Goals from Pastrnak this year, good for the most in the league through one month of play. No Bruins player has won The Rocket Richard Trophy as the league's top scorer since the award was introduced in 1998. The last Bruin to lead the league in goals was Phil Esposito, who had 61 goals in 1974-75, and led the NHL in goals for six straight years from 1970-75.
3 - Goals lost due to the NHL Situation Room. Two have been wiped away due to zone entries that were offside by a Skittle, while the other was taken off the board due to 'meh' interference with the goaltender. In fact, two of them came in the same game (a 4-2 loss to the Avalanche). And as Twitter friend Chuck pointed out on Tuesday night, if those borderline-at-best wipeouts in Colorado never happen, we may be talking about a Bruins team that goes an entire month without a regulation loss.
The good news: the Bruins have two straight games with goals held up on challenges from the opposition.
"We're hot," said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.
0.45 - That's Danton Heinen's on-ice goals against per 60 minutes of five-on-five play this year. That currently ranks as the third-best mark among a group of 318 NHL forwards with at least 100 minutes of five-on-five play in 2019-20. Only the Penguins' Dominik Kahun (0.42 per 60) and New York's Cal Clutterbuck (0.00 per 60) have been better than Heinen here. Maybe stop expecting him to be a 25-25-50 player and just accept and appreciate the fact that the Bruins have a young, defensively-responsible winger capable of playing both the left and right side and moving up the lineup if necessary.
7 - Times the Bruins have started their evening's scoring with a goal from Pastrnak. The Bruins are 5-1-1 when their scoring begins No. 88, and have 4-0-1 when it happens on TD Garden ice. Build a pasta station food option somewhere on the concourse already, TD Garden. Give the people reasons not related to their own genetics to not fit into their seats.
5.69 - This is Tuukka Rask's all-situation goals saved above average through the first month of the season. That's the most in the league through October. This has been a dramatic improvement from Rask finished in this stat in the 2018-19 regular season (-0.2, 41st-best mark in the league), but is in line with what did during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as Rask finished that run with a league-best 14.16 goals saved about average during Boston's run to the Stanley Cup Final. That 14.16, by the way, was the most by any goaltender in a playoff run since Tim Thomas saved 15.41 goals above average in the B's 2011 run and Rask saved 15.92 goals above average in 2013.
(Just a friendly reminder that if you put Game 7 on him, you're awful and nobody you know actually enjoys talking to you.)
0 - Shorthanded goals allowed by the Bruins this season. The power play still has its moments where pucks go the other way (Pastrnak is still prone to the occasion turnover or bad decision that goes the other way), but this is a definite improvement from last year, which saw the Bruins surrender a league-worst 15 shorthanded goals.
80:40 - The total time the Bruins have trailed games this season. That's by far the lowest in the NHL. The Sabres sit in second, having trailed for 144:44 through the first 13 games of their season. This has repeatedly been a point of emphasis throughout Cassidy's tenure behind the Boston bench, and it's been perhaps their most consistent on-ice trait in 2019-20.
The Bruins will begin their November slate on Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.