The esteemed James Mirtle of The Globe & Mail took the time to go through every NHL teams’ game notes and compile the 30-club rankings for man-games lost to injury.
As far as the Bruins are concerned, their ranking is no surprise.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien has pointed a couple times to better health as one of the major reasons for his team’s better regular season compared to last year. According to Mirtle’s rankings, the Bruins are 29th with just 92 man-games lost. Only Carolina has been healthier. The New York Islanders have been the most-injured club with 512 man-games lost.
Last season, the Bruins lost 192 man-games to injury, which also isn’t a surprise. But then when you look at the 2008-09 season, it’s pretty amazing that the Bruins that year were able to finish first in the Eastern Conference. They lost 230 man-games that season but still were second overall in the NHL.
Of course, some will read this and cry “jinx.” And, as Mirtle notes, this stat doesn’t put any weight into the fact that the Bruins have lost so many games of Marc Savard just like it can’t factor in Pittsburgh being without Sidney Crosby or the Islanders missing Mark Streit.
Nonetheless, the Bruins have had nearly their entire roster available for their games almost more than every other team in the league. When you combine their health with their payroll, sitting anywhere but first place in the Northeast Division would be unacceptable at this stage of the season.