You can shoot the puck on net, have it bounce in off a teammate, he gets the goal and you get the assist, and it's not a pass. You can have the puck go off your body, bounce to a teammate, he scores, you get an assist, and it's not a pass. You can shot at the net, miss, have it bounce off the wall, another teammate scores, and you get an assist, but it's still not a pass. Assist numbers is really just a poor standard to use for passing ability.
Right, but that's how Vanek gets his goals, not his assists.
Though the national media (i.e. CNN Sports) is giving the Bruins total credit for that. Doesn't really matter at all though in the scheme of things. It was a great night, and both teams handled the situation as well as anyone could have asked for.