Bruins to profit from sturdy begin to Clifton 2022-23 season

The Boston Bruins have one in every of their greatest begins in franchise historical past. They’re at present sitting 8-1-0 and First within the Atlantic Division. I would be the first to confess that I’ve been pleasantly shocked by the unbelievable begin, particularly given the way in which the 2021-22 season ended and the shortage of cap house to essentially take a giant step ahead. One cause for his success will not be solely the exceptional debut of his star gamers comparable to David Pasternak and Patrice Bergeron, but additionally the beginning of the careers of a lot of his darker gamers.

A type of depth gamers who’ve been notably out Conor Clifton, The Quinnipiac College product entered its fifth NHL season on the Bubbles. He didn’t notably impress at coaching camp and there have been questions as as to if he must be traded in to make room for an opportunity to present a youthful boy an opportunity.

However because the puck dropped and the 2022-23 season formally started, a change was flipped. By way of the primary 9 video games of the season, Clifton had the most effective he has ever seen within the NHL.

Cliffy Hockey is right here

Clifton’s type has usually been described as taking part in with a specific amount of reckless abandon. It’s affectionately referred to as “Cliffy Hockey”. Whereas he has had loads of brilliant moments throughout his profession with the Bruins, carelessness has additionally labored quite a bit towards him, getting him out of place or taking part in catch-up and taking poor penalties.

Conor Clifton, Boston Bruins
Conor Clifton, Boston Bruins (amy irwin / Hockey Writers)

By way of the primary 9 video games of the season, Clifton lastly appears to be like like he is managed to place all of the items collectively. He has 4 assists in 9 video games, and though this may occasionally not sound like probably the most interesting numbers, it’s truly noteworthy in comparison with his different profession level numbers. The variety of factors he has scored thus far in a season is 10 from final season’s 60 video games, together with two targets and eight assists. The truth that he is already almost half that in lower than a dozen video games reveals a newfound consolation that he is becoming a member of the group this season and participating within the offensive facet of the sport.

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Physicality has at all times been part of Cliffy hockey, and it hasn’t disappeared, if something, as his scoring talents make it look extra refined in 2022-23. He’s not bodily making an opposing participant to beat his or her personal struggles, however to truly make a major and crucial impression on the play. he’ll be a man who can set the tone for the Bruins. Watch his hit on Roop Hintz in his sport towards the Dallas Stars earlier this week and his subsequent struggle with Colin Miller. Clifton’s affect actually extends past simply the scoresheet.

Profession on tempo for the yr

In all statistics, Clifton is certainly on tempo to surpass earlier profession highs. He’s on tempo at round 36 factors this season, which might exceed his profession complete of 20 factors from his first 4 seasons within the league. One of many causes he has extra factors is as a result of he’s taking pictures extra. Throughout the first 9 video games, he has 18 pictures on aim, giving him a tempo of 164 in 82 video games, and he’s at present main all the group’s defenses in pictures. Final season, he performed a career-high 80 pictures in 60 matches.

There is a good probability that Clifton won’t be capable to sustain with this tempo, particularly for the reason that group has made such a very good begin astronomically and can inevitably return to Earth. Nonetheless, even when he does not almost double his earlier profession excessive marks and shot on aim, all indicators level to him having a profession yr.

So what’s the cause for this large transfer within the sport of Clifton? Properly for one factor he is getting extra snow time. His one night time common thus far this season is 21:14. His profession common earlier than this season was 16:49. It is easy, extra time on the ice means extra time to take pictures, earn factors and make performs.

Conor Clifton Boston Bruins
Conor Clifton, Boston Bruins (Jess Star/The Hockey Writers)

with Charlie McAvoy injured To begin the season, one has to step on the Blue Line. By now Clifton and his defensive teammates, Derek Forbort, have risen to the problem. they’re statistically among the best {couples} In the complete NHL this season. Each of them have additionally been tasked with taking part in some large minutes on penalty kills, at present ranked second within the league.

In 2022-23, Clifton has been given a possibility to develop and he takes benefit of it. He is taking part in with extra confidence on the ice, and persons are taking discover. whereas speaking to the media after their 3-1 win On the Dallas Stars, head coach Jim Montgomery, when requested about Clifton, replied, “He is a super-competitive younger man and his confidence is rising.” You may solely think about how far more he can showcase on the ice if his confidence continues to develop.

Contract Years for Clifton

For Clifton, this bump in his profession couldn’t have come at a greater time. He’s within the last yr of a three-year, $3 million contract that he signed again in 2019 with a mean annual worth of $1 million. Profession top in a contract yr normally results in the next worth contract than would have been initially anticipated. He can be an unrestricted free agent this summer time and will earn a very good future contract if he continues to surpass his previous profession highs.

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It’s too early to foretell what his subsequent contract can be, however after all, the Bruins entrance workplace and the administration of groups across the league are taking discover of Clifton this season. Will probably be thrilling to see what he is ready to obtain by way of the 73 remaining video games of 2022-23.




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