B’s Beat: Johnny Boychuk Is Having A Career Year
You may not have noticed, but Bruins’ defenseman Johnny Boychuk is having the best season of both his B’s and NHL career.
It’s easy to overlook the big hitting defenseman for one of his counterparts. Guys like Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, Kevan Miller, and Matt Bartkowski may draw more attention due to interest in their development, and Zdeno Chara is one of the league’s best.
When Dennis Seidenberg went down with a season ending ACL injury no player had to carry a heavier load than Johnny Boychuk. You can’t replace a guy like Seides, but you can look to players within the organization to step up. Johnny has answered the bell in a big way.
Boychuk is currently leading the Bruins in blocked shots (103) and +/- (24, also good for 4th in the NHL), he is also 3rd in hits (105). To go along with those strong defensive numbers, Johnny also has 2 goals and 13 assists in 51 games so far this season.
Perhaps the biggest demonstration of his level of play was game against Vancouver a few nights ago. Watching Boychuk dominate Nucks forward David Booth repeatedly throughout the game was a joy to watch. The cherry on top was the quick “home run” pass to a streaking Daniel Paille, who scored to give the B’s a 3-1 lead.
It’s good to see him build upon a solid playoff showing in last year’s Cup run, where he had 6 goals, an assist, and a +4 in 22 games.
His style of play may not be flashy, but it is providing what the team needs right now as it works with a bevy of young and inexperienced d-men. Boychuk has been a great presence on the back-end so far this season, and I feel as if he deserves some recognition. He will never have numbers that jump out at you, but he is a big part of this team.
The Bruins will still need to add another defenseman to the mix if they hope to go deep, but thanks to the play of Johnny “Man-chuck”, they have been afforded the luxury of watching the market open up. You won’t notice his impact on the score sheet every night, but trust me; many opposing players feel his impact on a nightly basis. Just ask Mr. Booth.
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