How Mavrik Bourque and Logan Stankoven are ripping up AHL defenses
Let's look at some AHL shot charts for context on the greatest show outside the NHL this season.
It’s one of the greatest shows in hockey right now.
Mavrik Bourque and Logan Stankoven are ripping up the AHL, including a five-goal performance over the past two days by Bourque against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Here’s a quick look at the AHL scoring leaders.
And yesterday at D Magazine, I had a feature on the human and emotional side of this.
How Bourque struggled last season, found his game, and became the “big brother” to Stankoven this season so they could dominate.
Here’s a quick excerpt from that piece, which you should read fully at D Mag.
Stankoven and Bourque were roommates during NHL training camp, when Bourque took the opportunity to share his past AHL struggles. He told Stankoven how quickly the game jumps from major junior, and they discussed things that worked for Bourque in the QMJHL.
“In a way he’s kind of been an older brother for me,” Stankoven says. “I’ve learned a lot from him. He went through it last year and knew what to expect. You kind of are supposed to take it day-by-day, but it’s much easier when someone gives you the road map.”
Bourque laughs at the “older brother” comment. He’s only 13 months older than Stankoven. But it is a fair assessment of what Bourque has done beyond his offensive production for Texas.
Today I wanted to go a bit deeper into the other side of the story, the nerdy hockey stuff of how and why Bourque and Stankoven are stuffing stat sheets on a nightly basis.
AHL data is notoriously hard to track down. The league doesn’t make some basic stats, like time on ice, available to the public.
Luckily, I have access to InStat, which tracks certain things and helps us give a better picture and context of what Bourque and Stankoven are doing beyond the boxscore.
Let’s start with Bourque, who is on pace for a 102-point season and has AHL history for us to compare.
This is Bourque’s shot and spray chart for the 2022-23 AHL season, where he was just ok after struggling in the first couple months.