Boston Bruins Regular Season Player Grades

Boston Bruins center #37 has been the team's MVP this season

Boston Bruins center #37 has been the team’s MVP this season

The Boston Bruins regular season has ended, and in many cases it has left the fan-base with a sense of disappointment. These Bruins didn’t really play up to expectations throughout most of the season and they lost the Northeast Division to a rival Montreal Canadiens because they lost 7 of their last 9 games. We have come to expect more from a Bruins club that is only two years removed from a magical Stanley Cup run. This was the first “Post Thomas Era” season for the Bruins and their was plenty to get excited about. There was also some areas for concern too. Here are my grades for the 2012-13 Boston Bruins regular season.

One thing to note before I proceed, I am only doing players that were with the B’s to start the season and played the majority of the year. So no Jagr, Redden, Soderberg, Bourque, Spooner, Johnson, Caron, Bartkowsky, and Daugavins to be graded here.

Centers:

Patrice Bergeron: The NHL’s face-off champion was nothing short of spectacular this season. If there was ever a question as to who the best player is on the Boston Bruins; you can put it to rest. Bergeron is the B’s MVP. He contributes in every single area of the game, and does so while staying within the team’s top 5 scorers. There isn’t really much more that can be said about him, everyone in Boston knows what he brings to the table every night. He put together another great season, and I expect him to have another Selke award to his credit at season’s end. Bergeron had 10 goals, 22 assists, and a team leading +24 in 42 games. If this were a full season he would’ve been on pace for 18 goals, 40 assists, and a +43. Wow indeed. Grade: A+

David Krejci: Krejci is probably one of the most underrated Bruins. You could argue with me regarding the accuracy of that statement, but he has consistently produced for the team over the last three years. It is humorous to say he has been consistent for the Bruins as his scoring is streaky at best, but when Mr. Krejci is on, there are few players that can control the puck like he can. His ability to slow down the play and leave the opposing defense at his mercy is such a rare gift. It is too bad he played with the two biggest disappointments on the Bruins this year because he deserved better. Krejci scored 10 goals, 23 assists, and a +1 in 47 games. If it were a full season he would have been on pace for 17 goals, 39 assists, and a +2. Grade: B+

Chris Kelly: One of the biggest disappointments of the 2012-13 season had to of been Chris Kelly. Coming off a season where scored 20 goals, 19 assists, and a +33, Kelly came into the 2012-13 season with some pretty lofty expectations. Unfortunately he failed to meet just about every one of them. He was unable to match the previous seasons scoring numbers or even come close for that matter. An injury to his tibia given to him by Ottawa’s Chris Neil certainly didn’t help him get it together, but upon his return he became more like his old self. Kelly scored 3 goals, 6 assists, and a -8 in 34 games. If it were a full season he would have been on pace for 6 goals, 12 assists, and a -16. If I were grading him based on his offensive performance it would have been a C-, but given the fact that he is still one of the B’s pest two way forwards and penalty killers, and played like a champ down the stretch he gets… Grade: C+

Gregory Campbell: Ah Soupy, you consistent man you. Campbell had a pretty quiet season, but when your in a 4th line grinding role a quiet season isn’t too bad. He was also played all over the lineup this season as it seemed at times Claude Julien was willing to try anything to get a spark out of his guys. Campbell is a reliable bottom six who can be plugged into any forward role and have marginal success. Soupy was also one of four Boston Bruins to play in every game this season. He had a pretty solid showing in the scoring department with 4 goals, 9 assists, and +2. If it were a full season he would’ve been on pace for 6 goals, 15 assists, and a+3. Grade: B

Boston Bruins forward #63 Brad Marchand led the team in both goals and points this season

Boston Bruins forward #63 Brad Marchand led the team in both goals and points this season

Left Wing:

Milan Lucic: Arguably the biggest disappointment of the entire Bruins season; Milan Lucic didn’t really do much to quell the “out of shape” claims laid against him at the beginning of the lockout shortened season. Contrary to popular belief, Lucic was a physical presence this season as he led the entire Bruins roster in hits with 139. There are few players on the Boston Bruins, who over the last couple of years or so, have had as much scrutiny as Milan Lucic. He is the B’s highest paid forward, a title with lofty expectations, perhaps too lofty for a player of his ilk. $6 million a year should be reserved for the games elite, is Lucic elite? Yes and No. Lucic is a rare breed of player every team wishes they had. Teams change their whole strategy when having to go up against him. Let me set the record straight. Lucic is not going to lead the Bruins in points. He is going to score anywhere from 20-30 goals a year, 25-35 assists, and lead the team in hits. He is a force of nature, not a sniper. I am perfectly happy with that Milan Lucic, did we get it this year? No, not really, but does Lucic deserve the massive amounts of hate he has gotten? No. He scored 7 goals, 20 assists, and a +8 in 46 games. if it were a full season he would have been on pace for 12 goals, 34 assists, and a +14. Grade: B-

Brad Marchand: If you had told me at the beginning of the season, that Brad Marchand would lead the Boston Bruins in scoring, I would have told you you were crazy. Yet, here we are. Marchand really emerged as a high-end scoring option for the B’s this year as he scored 18 goals, 18 assists, and a +23 in 45 games. He also led the team in takeaways, which means he got it done at both end of the ice this season. Marchand also had 5 game winners this season which is good for a tie at first on Bruins with David Krejci. He also tied Dan Paille for the team lead in shorthanded goals this season with 2. If it were a full season he would have been on pace for 30 goals, 30 assists, and a + 35. Grade: A+

Daniel Paille: How about Danny Paille this season? How did Dougie Hamilton win the 7th player award over him? Sounds like the pink hats out in full force to me. Those of us who are students of the game know how good Paille was this season. When you have a 4th line left winger who can come out and score 10 goals, 7 assists, and a +3 while only averaging a little less than 13 minutes a game, you’ve got someone having a special season. Paille certainly went above and beyond what was expected of him this season, and has become one of the most under-appreciated Bruins in recent memory. If it were a full season he would have been on pace for 17 goals, 12 assists, and a +5. Grade: A

Bruins forward #18 Nathan Horton struggled this season after suffering two concussion in the last year

Bruins forward #18 Nathan Horton struggled this season after suffering two concussion in the last year

Right Wing:

Tyler Seguin: I had some pretty high expectations for Seguin coming into this season. He had lit it up in the Swiss league, leaving myself and many others to believe that he would carry that over to the NHL once the games finally started. This was unfortunately not to be. Seguin struggled out of the gate and was a fairly inconsistent player for the B’s throughout most of the season. Despite his inconsistencies  he still managed to score 16 goals, 16 assists, and a +23 in 48 games. Yes, he was one of the four Bruins to play in every game this season. At times he showed flashes of an elite offensive weapon all Bruins fans hope he can eventually become. Seguin is still very young at 21 years old, and has a huge career ahead of him. This season wasn’t his best yet, but it certainly something to build on. If it were a full season he would’ve been on pace for 27 goals, 27 assists, and a +39. Grade: B

Nathan Horton: Horton is a tough one to grade. I hate to be hard on him considering the large amounts of injuries he has sustained over his last three years in Boston, but he really wasn’t anything to get thrilled about this season. Aside from the occasional highlight reel effort, that one against Carolina comes to mind, he really hasn’t lived up to any expectations this year even with the knowledge of his return from a concussion. Horton at times looked lost out there this year, and it seems as if those concussions have taken a lot of the tenacity out of his game. I believe he will no longer be a Bruin after the end of this season, which is too bad. Horton’s game pre-concussions was tailor made for the B’s. Unfortunately he has stepped away from that. You can’t really fault him for it, but you don’t have to bring him back either. Horton scored 13 goals, 9 assists, and a +1 in 43 games. If it were a full season he would’ve been on pace for 23 goals, 16 assists, and a +2. Grade: C

Shawn Thornton: What more can you say about Shawn Thornton? He has been one of the league’s best enforcers ever since he first donned the black and gold. The two-time Stanley Cup Champion has had quite the career for someone who was never expected to make  an NHL roster. Thornton had 8 fighting majors this year to go along with 60 penalty minutes. Thornton’s contributions are more so in the lockerroom than anywhere else. He is a player that leads by example. He scored 3 goals, had 7 assists, and a +1 in 45 games this season. If it were a full season, he would’ve been on pace for 5 goals, 11 assists, and a +2. Grade: B

Boston Bruins defenseman #44 Dennis Seidenberg has had an excellent season

Boston Bruins defenseman #44 Dennis Seidenberg has had an excellent season

Defenseman:

Zdeno Chara: Captain Zdeno had another consistent year as the Bruins’ captain and top defenceman. He would have been a Norris candidate had he been able to maintain the excellent pace he started the season with. Unfortunately for Chara, many other defensemen with flashier offensive games had great second halves to the shortened season. Guys like the Wild’s Ryan Suter, Montreal’s PK Subban, and Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin all had outstanding seasons and will likely challenge for the top defenseman award. That isn’t to say the Bruins’ captain wasn’t his usual excellent self, because he was. It just seems like age, and the shortened season may have had toll on Chara as it would anyone who plays close to 25 minutes a night. Chara still had a productive year despite the clear fatigue, he led all the Bruins defensemen with 7 goals, 12 assists, and a +14 in all of the Bruins 48 games. If it were a full season, he would have been on pace for 12 goals, 21 assists, and a +24. Grade: A

Dennis Seidenberg: Seidenberg is one of those players you really don’t notice all season. Not because he is doing a bad job, but because he isn’t flashy. Seidenberg plays a a real steady game and is one of the Bruins best and most underrated players. He is an elite shot blocker and an underrated checking force. He led the Bruins in blocked shots this season with 115, he also led all Bruins d-men in hits too, with 115. Seidenberg also averaged rougly 24 minutes of ice time a game. I wish I had more to write about him, but he really is that simple of a player. He contributes in all areas and is arguably one of the most consistent players on the Boston Bruins. Seides scored 4 goals, 13 assists, and a +18. If it were a full season he would have been on pace for 7 goals, 23 assists, and a +31. Grade: A

Johnny Boychuk: Boychuk was a bit of a disappointment this season as he appeared to have taken a step back from his excellent 2011-12 campaign. He average around 20 minutes of time on ice a game, with 79 blocked shots and 87 hits. His physicality was there but he declined in offensive production for the third straight year. He also found his name swirling around in the rumor mill come deadline time, but was fortunate enough to not get traded. Boychuk had 1 goals, 5 assists, and a +5 in 44 games this season. If it were a full season, he would have been on pace for 2 goals, 9 assists, and a +9. Grade: B-

Andrew Ference: Ference had a pretty great year offensively. He scored 4 goals, had 9 assists, and a +9 in all of the Bruins’ 48 games this season. He is one of the B’s most vocal leaders, and one of their most consistent “lead by example” players all season. He can get beat at times by some of the NHL’s more gifted scorers, but he is always a force in the physical department, and always sticks up for teammates. Ference is a free agent at season’s end, and I think his performance has garnered him another contract in Boston. I would hate to seem him go though if they decide not bring him back. He had 89 hits and 60 blocked shots this season. He played roughly 20 minutes a night. If it were a full season he would have been on pace for 7 goals, 15 assists, and a +15. Grade: B+

Adam McQuaid: Darth Quaider didn’t really have much of an impact this season except maybe the physicality department. He scored 1 goal, 3 assists, and broke even on his +/-. Anyone who expected much from McQuaid was out to lunch anyways as he was returning from blood clot surgery from the summer. He isn’t really a contributor on the score sheet as it is, never mind returning from a serious leg injury. Quaider has 62 hits, 43 blocked shots, and averaged roughly 14 minutes of ice time a game. He also had 6 fights this season. If it were a full season he would have been on pace for 2 goals, 8 assists, and an even +/-. Grade: C+

Dougie Hamilton: Hamilton came into this season with some pretty high expectations. After playing some dominant hockey at both ends of the ice with his OHL club the Niagra Ice Dogs, Hamilton finally made the jump to the NHL this season and the results were… decent. It is tough to grade a rookie defenseman because they will always make a ton of mistakes in their own zone. I thought he did decently for the most part, but he clearly still has a ways to go. It is no wonder Claude Julien sat him down the stretch. He is still a work in progress, and is likely fatigued to the heavy checking and speed the NHL brings. Offensively I was pretty happy. He scored 5 goals, had 11 assists, and a +4 in 42 games this season. Dougie Hamilton has a ton of potential and is going to be a big part of the Bruins future back end. We saw a lot of promising things this season, but patience is best when dealing rookies, especially of his caliber. If it were a full season, he would have been on pace for 9 goals, 20 assists, and a +7. Grade: B

Boston Bruins goaltender #35 Anton Khudobin put together a solid year as backup behind Tuukka Rask

Boston Bruins goaltender #35 Anton Khudobin put together a solid year as backup behind Tuukka Rask

Goaltenders:

Tuukka Rask: Rask was pretty incredible this season. It couldn’t have been easy following in Timmy’s shoes… or skates, but Tuukka was able to do so with ease, and he turned in a great performance while doing so. I have already made my point very clear as to why I think Rask deserves a shot at the Vezina this year, and my opinion has not changed. You can read why here. Rask posted a sparkling .929 save percentage, with a 2.00 goals against average, and 5 shutouts. Rask’s line was 19-10-5, and this is with the Bruins’ struggles throughout the most part of the second half of the season. Rask was one of the Bruins’ most valuable players at times this season and save them from bad losses countless times. He has truly embraced the number one spot and will be in that position for the foreseeable future. Put all doubt aside, Rask is worth of the number one spot, and the Bruins are better for him being there. Grade: A

Anton Khudobin: I thought the number one goalie of Kazakhstan was pretty good this season as Tuukka Rask’s backup. Hisplay even had a few Bruins fans wondering if he was the better goaltender. While these thoughts are laughable at best, Khudobin did turn in an impressive performance and it would be wise of the B’s to hold onto him past this season. He did drop off a little bit as the season wound down, but then again so did the entire team. Khudobin had a line of 9-4-1, with a good .920 save percentage, an average 2.32 goals against average, and a single shutout. Not bad for his first full, well sort of full season in the NHL. Grade: B

You can follow me on twitter here for all Bruins news and notes: @Mattjacob64

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