Eleven goals probably wasn’t the total the Bruins were looking for when they brought Rich Peverley back for the 2011-12 season after a successful performance during the run to the Stanley Cup the June prior, and then signed him to a three-year extension worth $3.25 million per season starting this season.
To be fair to Peverley, he was battling an unknown injury for much of the season. And then he came back from a serious knee injury in time for the playoffs. But like any player, he struggled to find his game at the most intense portion of the year.
Peverley is probably best suited to the third-line and special-teams role he’s supposed to be cast in. Injuries sometimes force him up in the lineup to mixed results. A healthy Peverley in 2012-13, however, has to produce up to his pay scale. That could include helping the Bruins turn their power play into a weapon rather than a detriment.
It’ll be interesting to see how Peverley’s stint with the Bruins unfolds, as he looks to produce enough to justify his contract and his status among the top nine, and the Bruins bring in prospects and other outside competition that might make Peverley’s talents redundant.
Regular season: 57 GP, 11-31-42, plus-20
Playoffs: 7 GP, 3-2-5, even
Contract status: Signed through 2014-15 with a cap hit of $3.25 million
Regular season recap
Highlight: Peverley got off to a hot start with two goals in the Bruins’ 4-1 win over Tampa Bay Oct. 8. Both scores came from in front of the net and were part of his five shots on net. He was plus-2. Unfortunately, he rarely got anything else done from that same area of the ice the rest of the season and only scored nine more times.
Lowlight: In Winnipeg Dec. 6, Peverley failed to record a point in 18:59 of ice time. He also lost a neutral zone draw to Bryan Little clean leading up to the Jets’ game-winning goal in a 2-1 defeat that stopped Boston’s 14-0-1 streak.
Playoff recap: In addition to lead the team in goals with three, Peverley also took the cross check from Nicklas Backstrom that earned the Washington center a one-game ban and should’ve put the Bruins in control of the series.
Grade: B-minus. The Bruins needed more finish from Peverley, especially when he had to play up in the lineup. His playoff performance salvaged his season.
Carnac predicts … Peverley settles in on the third line next to Chris Kelly and scores 15 goals next season but doesn’t quite live up to the value of the contract he signed last October. He’ll be the subject of trade talk for years despite his limited no-trade clause.