The Bruins are heading into Colorado tonight and every single eye will be watching what is promising to be bombastic matchup of two top lines. It should really be the battle of two top lines of hockey! On one side, Rantanen – MacKinnon – Landeskog connection is arguably one of the best, but on the other side there is a trio of guys called Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak. So which one is better?
Which top line is better?
Of course that line led by Nathan MacKinnon. I mean Patrice Bergeron. If you look at the scoring leaders stats this season, you see Mikko Rantanen on top with 26 points (currently tied with some young centerman named Connor McDavid), then you see Patrice Bergeron with 25 points. Fourth player on highly regarded list is Nathan MacKinnon with 24 points, in fifth place we can find David Pastrnak with 23 points. That´s your top five in the NHL as of now! Brad Marchand, 85 points last season, has 20 points thus far and Gabriel Landeskog has 19 points.
Those numbers are disgusting to be honest. “Yes, definitely,” responded Gabriel Landeskog on question, whether his line is the best one in NHL. Bruins line was not this confident, but they talked about anticipated matchup later tonight. It was Brad Marchand who offered the words of respect towards his opponents. When the Avs square off against the Bruins tonight at Pepsi Center in Denver, nobody is going to sleep, even if it´s a 10 p.m. ET start!
Bruins and Avalanche. Two one-line teams?
Funny thing is, that Gabriel Landeskog was connected with potential trade to Boston last three years, but nothing happened and Colorado´s captain visibly took advantage of it. Same as Nathan MacKinnon, who was frustrated with his play during that miserable 2016-17 campaign, when the Avalanche hit the rock bottom of NHL. MacKinnon was a Hart Trophy candidate last year. Bergeron would have been the same, but broken thumb late in February prevented that possibility.
With 25 points already, Bergeron is looking for something more. He has been terrific leader off and on the ice for his club all over his career. Yeah, he owns four Selke Trophies, but Hart Trophy would be something completely different. Even if everyone is focusing mainly on well-known guys, in some cases veterans (you would not call MacKinnon or Landeskog veteran, would you?), two young guns have been sparkling for both teams ever since they made it through.
David Pastrnak had a blast last season, 80 points during the regular season and then 20 points in play-offs. During current campaign he already collected two hattricks and leads the race for Maurice Richard Trophy with 16 goals. Mikko Rantanen has none of those, young Finn has “just” six goals. Bergeron´s connection and chemistry with Marchand has been built since forever, but only David Pastrnak made their combination look killing.
MacKinnon did not have same history and experience with Landeskog as Marchand with Bergeron, but that apparently does not matter, Jared Bednar found a really perfect working trio. And now they meet each other with lot of expectation. Bruins currently 3-3-2 on the road, Avs coming home after lengthy road trip, right after they skipped their 5-game losing streak on Sunday night in Edmonton.
Weekend has started with Patrice Bergeron leading the race for Art Ross Trophy, then it ended with Mikko Rantanen taking advantage back, now it is Connor McDavid with a tiny statistical upper hand. Who will take mentioned trophies is due to be determined in April next year. Who will take a crown for the best line in hockey (at least for now)? That might be answered in few hours. Nevertheless, it should one heck of a line against line matchup (and a game as well!).