Blue Collar Weekly: Playoff Edition~Tyler Bozak

Tyler Bozak battles former teammate Auston Matthews during the regular season in Toronto. (Photo courtesy Toronto Star)

Welcome to Blue Collar Weekly Playoff Edition where I choose one lucky Blues hockey player to wear the Blue Collar of greatness. This week I based my selection on players’ performances in Round three of the Stanley Cup Playoffs vs. the SanJose Sharks.

This week, the “Blue-collar” goes to….

Tyler Bozak

Bozak played all six games against the Sharks and had three goals, and one assist. He also had five blocked shots. One of those goals was a Power-play goal, and he also had a crucial game-winning goal in the series. Here’s a look at all three goals against San Jose.

When the Blues signed Tyler Bozak before the 2018-19 season, they knew they were getting something special. Doug Armstrong has pulled out more than a rabbit to make this year the most magical of them all.

After Tyler went 12 games without scoring a point between 11/17 to 12/11, he then went on to score 18 points in the last 31 games of the regular season.

On March 30th, 2019 the Regina, Saskatchewan native scored his 400th point in his successful NHL career.

The Blues won the game and Bozak had two points and won 7 out of 8 faceoffs, for an 87.5% winning percentage.

Faceoff Dominance vs San Jose

He played 72 games in his first regular season with the Blues and was dominate in the face-off circle, and posted a 54.34 faceoff winning percentage by the end of the regular season. He also won 51.18 % of face-offs in his first playoff run with the Blues. Here’s a comparison with the Blues most trusted face-off man Ryan O’Reilly through six games against the Sharks.

Tyler Bozak   Ryan O'Reilly
  
GamesFace Off WinsFace Off Win %GamesFace Off WinsFace Off Win %
1646.211516.9
2758.32733.3
3660.031456.0
4861.541161.1
51361.95545.5
6433.361266.7

As you can see by the comparison, Bozak made up for O’Reilly’s lower percentages in game 2, and game 5, and with these big face-off wins the Blues controlled the puck. With those 13 faceoff wins in game 5, the Blues went on to win the game. That gave them the lead in the series and forced the Sharks to a game 6 elimination game.

Career Post Season Statistics

GPGAPts+/-GWGS %FOW %
40101222-1313.550.7

Career Regular Season Statistics

GP G A PTS +/- GW S% FO%
666 149 254 403 -81 20 13.3 53.6

As the Blues head into the Stanley Cup Final against Boston, Tyler Bozak and his linemates will be looking to continue their strong play. I believe they will continue their good puck support and cycling in the corners. In turn, this will result in offensive zone pressure, which will lead to more goals. These are all good reasons to honor Tyler Bozak for his contributions to his team game and his success in the faceoff circle. Cheers to #21 for a great year and may there be many more! I’m sure you will wear the Blue Collar of greatness many more times before it’s all over.

I will see you all after the Boston series when I will pick the next Blue Collar. Heres a quote by Bozak after signing with St.Louis.

“I was fortunate enough to accomplish some great things in Toronto, I never got the one thing I’ve always really wanted.

The Stanley Cup.

I want to win a Cup. So damn bad.

That’s why I signed in St. Louis. There’s your headline. Print it.”
-Tyler Bozak

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