If you hadn’t heard of him while he was skating in virtual anonymity in Nashville and Atlanta, Rich Peverley sure figured out a way to make himself a household name in New England.
The veteran forward, like fellow midseason addition Chris Kelly, didn’t take to the Bruins right away after his trade from the Thrashers. But by the end of the Stanley Cup championship run he was skating on the first line and providing the Bruins with everything they had acquired him for.
Faceoffs, penalty killing and shots on net were supposed to be Peverley’s stock in trade and he produced it all when it counted the most. Heck, as I’ve mentioned before, the Thrashers had to pick up and move to Winnipeg because life was so difficult after Peverley left.
Regular season: (with Bruins) 23 GP, 4-3-7, minus-1
Playoffs: 25 GP, 4-8-12, plus-6
Contract status: Signed through 2011-12 at cap hit of $1.325 million
Best regular-season moment: Scoreless in his previous six games and looking to add to his one goal since joining the Bruins, Peverley showed all his skills March 15 in Columbus to tie the game at 2 with 5:36 remaining in the third period. He stole the puck inside his own blue line, rushed end to end and then split the D before cashing in from in front of the Blue Jackets goal. The Bruins went on to a shootout win.
Best playoff moment: There were doubts about Peverley’s ability to fill Nathan Horton’s skates for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final after Horton suffered a season-ending concussion in Game 3. It took Peverley just 11:59 of game action to show he could snipe as well, as he scored the first of his two goals in a series-tying 4-0 win.
Worst moment: In a 1-0 loss to the Rangers March 26, Peverley failed on two shots on net and also lost the faceoff that directly led to New York’s lone goal of the game.
Regular-season grade: B
Playoff grade: B. Peverley went through some dry patches and even spent time on the Bruins’ fourth line in the Tampa Bay series.
Carnac predicts … Peverley will see time on every Bruins line in 2011-12 and chip in his usual 15 goals and win close to 50 percent of his faceoffs. It’s what he does.