By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON Here are a couple of stats to throw out with the Bs nine games into their playoff run this season, and in an excellent position while up 2-0 in their series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Theyve been here before, but this season most definitely looks and feels different. The numbers seem to be backing that up, so heres a giant helping of stats from the series. Patrice Bergeron is tied for second in the NHL with 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) in the playoffs, and is winning 60.8-percent of his face-offs while also playing at a plus-7 in nine games thus far. The 25-year-old center should be considered in the Conn Smythe discussion and trails only Claude Giroux in the playoff-scoring department with the Flyers forwards 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists) in nine games. Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis also both have 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 10 games played. Zdeno Chara, despite missing 10 pounds in a 24-hour period while battling a virus that caused severe dehydration prior to Game 2 against the Montreal Canadiens, is still second among playoff defenseman with 29:04 of ice time per game during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Charas offensive numbers havent been there, but hes still playing the stopper role in the defensive zone along with his other vital roles in the Boston attack. Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter actually leads everyone in the NHL playoffs with 29:34 of ice time per game. Brad Marchand is averaging 18:22 of ice time per game in the playoffs with nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in nine games, and he leads the entire NHL in playoff plusminus with a plus-8. Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron are both tied for second with a plus-7 so far this postseason, and that trio of players so good and so dynamic through the regular season is a combined plus-22 during the playoffs for the Bruins. The Bruins have four of the top 10 plusminus leaders in the NHL during the playoffs with Andrew Ference also clocking in with a plus-6 thus far in nine games. Nathan Horton and David Krejci each have two game-winning goals in the playoffs thus far, but they trail Lecavalier, who has three game-winning goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning in an impressive body of work thus far with the Bolts leading the Capitals 3-0 in their series. James van Riemsdyk leads the NHL with 59 shots attempted in nine playoff games thus far for the Philadelphia Flyers. Thats 13 more than anybody else has managed to squeeze off during the playoffs and an average of 6.5 shots per playoff game for the former UNH superstar and NHL draft lottery pick. Thats a ridiculous number of shot attempts, and what's even crazier is that he's burying 11.9-percent of those shots.With some numbers to digest, on to the links: Paul Coffey tells the Pittsburgh Tribune that hes willing to work with the Penguins power play next season. If they dont have Sidney Crosby at full strength it isnt going to matter all that much. Yan Stastny is starring at the world championships in a European setting that should make him feel very at home, per Kevin Allen of the USA Today. Via Kukla's Korner, ESPN anchor John Buccigross goes through a player on each remaining playoff team that hed personally like to see win the Stanley Cup. Yahoo! Sports columnist Nick Cotsonika goes through how some place like Nashville can transform into a southern hockey town that they like to call Smashville. The attention to detail on defense for this years Washington Capitals team will be highly scrutinized if they fall down in the second round as it seems theyre about to, down 3-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the Caps struggles in mind, Mike Brophy wonders whether Bruce Boudreau will be in trouble should Washington drop this series sooner rather than later. A couple of cool stories about Tim Thomas from the Globe and Mail in Toronto: one from James Mirtle details how unpredictable Thomas can be between the pipes and the other is how easy it is to cheer for an underdog like the Bs goaltender. CBC rink side reporter Elliotte Friedman gives his always cogent 30 thoughts and thinks Montreal Canadiens underachiever Scott Gomez still has a future with the Habs after a rough season. FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski takes on the subject of Brad Marchand, and paints a pretty accurate picture of why the Bruins pest is helping to make a difference this season.