Do you remember Glen Murray? The former Boston Bruins right wing who, in two stints with the Bruins, scored 209 goals and added 180 assists. Murray had a solid career with the Bruins until the team bought him out following the 2008–09 season. The buyout ultimately ended his NHL career.
Following the NHL season long lockout in 2004–05, Murray saw his point production gradually fall over the next three seasons, as expected with players as they continue to age in the NHL. No season of Murray’s will compare to the 2002–03 campaign that saw him tally 44 goals and 48 assists in 82 games. The winger set a career high in goals, assists, and points that season.
One thing about Murray’s 44 goals in the 2002–03 season is that it currently holds as the last time a member of the Bruins has scored 40 or more goals in a season. But that looks like it could be broken sometime in the next few seasons because the Bruins currently have two guys that have proven they know how to put the puck in the back of the net.
Everybody’s favorite agitator, Brad Marchand, has shown that he’s one of the best goal scorers currently in the NHL. With goal totals of 37, 39, and 34, Marchand is behind just two men in goal totals over the last three seasons. Those men are Alexander Ovechkin and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Marchand is 29 years old, which puts him right in the middle of the prime of his career. He also forms quite possibly the greatest duo currently in the NHL with his longtime line mate, Patrice Bergeron. Mix together the recent goal scoring success, being in his prime, and playing with Bergeron, you’ve got a guy who should be a threat to score 40 or more goals for the next 3–5 years of his career if he remains healthy.
You also can’t forget the man who spent most of the last season on a line with Marchand and Bergeron. David Pastrnak led the 2017–18 Bruins with 35 goals of his own. He tallied 34 the year before that. Though he’s played in the NHL for four seasons, he has only seen full-time roster minutes over the last two seasons. Both of those years were 30+ goals years.
The young Czech winger hasn’t even come close to hitting his prime yet and he’s already becoming a legitimate goal scorer in the NHL. His goal totals over the last four seasons have increased each year, which means heading into the 2018–19 with more NHL experience should help him build on his 35 goal total from last season.
NHL teams don’t need 40-goal-scorers to succeed, but they’re quite helpful. The 2018–19 Boston Bruins team is a talented bunch, so having a 40-goal-scorer, or even two of them, will be helpful in getting the team to where they want to be. Having Marchand and Pastrnak each score 30 or more goals will be what the Bruins are hoping for because that should help the team find success. But if at least one of them were to score 40 goals it would be an added bonus. Like I said at the start, the Bruins haven’t seen a guy score 40 goals in a season since the 2002–03 season. After a 15 year hiatus, it would be nice to see a member of the black and gold light the lamp 40+ times this season. And with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak on the roster, it gives the Bruins their best chance at it in a long time.
Kevin Maggiore (@kevin_maggiore)