How Rene Bourque scored his goals in 2013 - Part 2 - Analysis

USA TODAY Sports

Rene Bourque returned from offseason surgery a different player from what we saw last year, and although he missed 21 games due to a sucker punch causing a concussion, he still managed a respectable 9 goals.

Bourque's renaissance season for the Habs was cut off, but let's compare his production to last year.

Goals by situation
Goals Goals on zone plays Goals off the rush Goals on individual efforts
9 3 6 3
Goals by shot type
Wrist Slap Snap One-timer Tip Backhand
2 1 0 1 4 2

Right away we can see that Rene Bourque's goal scoring is much different from the norm on the 2013 Canadiens. While most players are getting it done mostly on zone plays, Bourque prefers to work off the rush, where his skating and big body gives him a nice advantage. Skating is probably Bourque's best asset, so it's not a huge surprise that he does most of his damage that way.

Also unlike most of the other Habs, Bourque also scored more from just being in the right spot than he did from shooting. His four tip in goals signified the intelligent way the coaching staff used him last year, especially when playing with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. Bourque has limited puck skills, but excellent speed and an ability to muscle off checkers. Gionta and Plekanec handled the playmaking, and Bourque crashed the net with his stick on the ice.

Of course, Bourque can score other ways too, he has a great shot, but he's much more effective being a body to bounce pucks in off than anything else.

Let's see how his productions changed from last year:

2011-12 Goals by situation
Goals Goals on zone plays Goals off the rush Goals on individual efforts
18 7 11 4
2011-12 Goals by shot type
Wrist Slap Snap One-timer Tip Backhand
8 2 4 3 4 0

It's pretty interesting to see that even with Cunneyworth's Habs being terrible at controlling the offensive zone, Bourque's goals by situation split was essentially the same. He scored 61.1% of his goals off the rush in 11-12, and 66.7% off the rush in 2013. Surely spending half the season with Calgary impacted that, but it's interesting nonetheless.

He also scored more often on individual efforts in 2013, which shows how much better he played overall. Over an 82 game schedule, Bourque was on pace to nearly double his goals on individual efforts over last year.

As maligned as Bourque is, he's a 20 goal, 40 point forward in the NHL over 82 games, and that he was able to pace for that last season while playing tough minutes with Plekanec makes his $3.333M salary very palatable.


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