Bruins Aggressive Penalty Kill boosting Swayman and Team to the Top of League.

Michael Christian
December 21, 2023  (3:11 PM)

Photo credit: The Hockey News

Special Teams win games. Looking back at history, playoff contenders and Stanley Cup winners have one thing almost universally in common: Top 10 units on Power plays and Penalty Kills. The Bruins this year have both. Their Power play is in the top ten, currently sitting at a respectable 8th in the league, scoring on 24.5 percent of their power plays. Their Penalty kill is even more impressive, sitting atop the league, killing off 87.5 percent of the penalties.

The Bruins' naturally aggressive play has helped them kill penalties at a very impressive clip, but it has also assisted goalie Jeremy Swayman to a 2.06 goals against average, which is good for 3rd in the league, and a .933 save percentage, tied for first in the league with the Golden Knights' Adin Hill. Having such an aggressive penalty kill relieves pressure on the goalie in numerous ways, from facing fewer shots to pressuring the other teams into turnovers or longer-range shots from lower-scoring percentage areas of the ice. That's not to take anything away from Swayman, who has been brilliant this season. Even with a small rough patch he had over about a week's time frame, he still is at the top of the league in most goaltending stats. The Bruins are in the middle of the pack in shots against, with 32 shots per game given up, making Swayman's save percentage and GAA even more impressive.
The Bruins are also getting Charlie McAvoy back from injury, and this should only make both of these top units even better as the season moves on. The aggressive play, the top special teams units, great goaltending, all equal good things for the Bruins and are key components for the team to stay atop the standings and make a deep playoff run.
Source: StatMuse
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