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Analyzing the Boston Bruins’ behaviors

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In honor of my favorite time of year, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I thought it’d be fun to do an analysis of the Boston Bruins’ first line/starting defense and goalie…not to mention, The Predictive Index has been based in the Boston area for the past 50 year so we are a bit excited for our home team.

What am I analyzing? Well, each player has a different playing style and based off their playing styles I matched the player with what behavioral Reference Profile they’d be.

The Predictive Index (PI) has 17 Reference Profiles. When it comes to how we act at work, we all have traits. Having traits creates different drives and needs that motivates us to behave in a certain way. The Reference Profiles are created based off of four drives: Dominance, Extraversion, Patience, and Formality. When someone takes a PI Behavioral Assessment, their results are based on these factors, and their behavioral pattern is mapped to one of these Reference Profiles.

Hockey players all have different playing styles and behaviors they show on the ice and off. Some are hot-headed, some are more reserved. Some like to take risks, and some are more thoughtful when making plays. My dad refers to the 2018 Bruins as “new talent combined with experienced veterans, making them a well balanced team”. Being a well-rounded team means they have players with different behavioral styles. Let’s take a look.

Patrice Bergeron #37, center

CaptainA Captain is a problem solver who likes change and innovation while controlling the big picture.

Captains are competitive, enthusiastic, driving, and non-conforming. They are self-starters and risk-takers who positively respond to pressure. You see these characteristics in Bergeron’s powerful playing style. Captains seek to lead and have an impact, which is clear in Bergeron. He strives for his team to be successful.

Fittingly, Bergeron actually is one of the team captains on the Bruins. He is an all-around player—a team leader and team player at the same time. He has a responsible playing style that has lead him and his line to succeed. He is arguably one of the best defensive forwards ever, yet he’s extremely humble and he’ll attribute his accomplishments to the hard work of his teammates. Another thing about Captains is that they do their best to never let their teams down, always seeking a way to have a positive impact.

Brad Marchand #63, left wing


A Maverick is an innovative, “outside the box” thinker, who is undaunted by failure.

Brad Marchand is a name you have probably heard of, even if you aren’t a fan of the Boston Bruins. He’s Boston’s favorite “little ball of hate”, a gritty agitator on the ice. Marchy, as he’s called, is a risk taker and aggressive with the puck. He likes to push the line that others don’t cross, bringing momentum to the team. Marchand is smaller compared to other players but that doesn’t stop him; his confidence shines from the ice.

Maverick’s think risk is necessary and that the end justifies the means. They’re quick to act and respond positively to challenges and pressure. Marchand is one of the most impactful players in the NHL, going by his own rules when playing his game. Mavericks also want to take action and can be forceful and direct. You see this in his playing style when half the time he’s getting penalty after penalty, and the other half assisting teammates and scoring goals. Marchand has a different playing style than most players, but it’s definitely a successful one.

David Pastrnak #88, right wing

PromoterA Promoter is a casual, uninhibited, and persuasive extravert with the tendency for informality.

There’s no one who visibly loves his job more than David Pastrnak. You are constantly seeing his currently-toothless grin before, during, and after the game. He seems to interact with fans the most and he definitely gets chatty with opponents too. On the ice he’s quick, shifty, and innovative—all common behaviors of Promoters.

Promoters are collaborative, outgoing, patient, and flexible. Pastrnak has a flexible approach when playing and when you see that with his speed, you get a player that’s putting up the numbers. Being on the first line with Marchand and Bergeron, who are both veterans, gives this Promoter the best opportunity to be collaborative and motivating, which has been leading to great results.

Zdeno Chara #33, defense


A Persuader is a risk-taking, socially poised and motivating team builder.

Chara is the Bruins’ captain. He is an ultimate team leader who definitely leads by example. He’s a veteran who’s level-headed and a hard worker, playing with tremendous intensity. He’s been with the Bruins as an all-round defenseman for a while and is always showing that he has his teammates’ backs on and off the ice.

A Persuader makes an excellent hockey captain. They are self-confident, persuasive, fast-paced, and confident decision-makers. Chara’s been captain of the Bruins since 2006. That’s 12 years of working with his teammates and developing young players, things Persuaders love doing. Since being paired on the ice with Charlie McAvoy, a rookie, his game has improved immensely. Delegating, motivating, and challenging the teammates he’s on ice with gets him to be able to play his best hockey.

Charlie McAvoy #73, defense


A Strategist is results-oriented, innovative and analytical with a drive for change.

Charlie McAvoy is a rookie who started last season when getting signed for playoffs, making a beautiful and promising debut. He’s a smart player with great puck management. Strategists are able to think big picture. In McAvoy’s playing style, you see that he looks to move the puck up the ice, looking at the whole ice rather than one area over the other, which makes those forward transitions seem effortless. He’s paired with Chara on the ice, helping each other be the most successful defensive pair around.

Strategists are calculated risk-takers, which is exactly what you see when watching McAvoy play, providing results without much risk. Strategists are results-oriented when it comes to decision making. McAvoy plays a safe game keeping turnovers to a minimum while keeping the offense going. As a defender, Charlie McAvoy is able to deal with pressure and multiple priorities, which is a strength of Strategists.

Tuukka Rask #40, goaltender


A Specialist is a highly precise worker, who remains skeptical while respecting authority.

Tuukka Rask has been the Bruins’ puck-stopping machine. Although he’s definitely had his roller-coaster ride, he’s proven to be tenacious. Rask keeps his cool and gives off a very calm vibe on the ice, which are excellent characteristics for a goaltender, which has a positive influence on the team. He’s precise, yet fast-paced, allowing for the team to instill a lot of confidence in his abilities.

Specialists can be cautious, which you can see in Rask’s playing style. He’s not an overly-aggressive goalie and is rather careful while still highly responsive, which are all traits of a Specialist. Specialists strive once they have had time to develop their speciality. We have seen this in Rask’s game over-time. He started as a backup for the Bruins and has made his way to be the team’s elite goaltender.

Regardless of whether you’re a hockey player or fan, your behavioral drives and needs will dictate how you approach your work day in and day out.

Hoping these guys, along with the rest of the team, can continue to show these all-star behavioral drives and bring home the 2018 Cup. Go Bruins!

Interested in learning more about what drives you and those you work with? Try the PI Behavioral Assessment here.

Marissa is a sales and marketing operations specialist at PI. She loves chicken parm!

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