The Bruins season is over, and its time to give out grades. Except I don't grade, I just tell you who sucked and who didn't. Some guys sucked, some guys were good, a lot of guys were somewhere in between. So without further ado lets get started.
Did not suck. Bergy was Bergy this year. He played in 79 games and put up 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points. Once again he was the leagues premier two-way player and is a finalist to win the Selke Award. He also had a career-high 7 game winning goals. Bergeron won 60.1 percent of faceoffs, the 3rd best mark of his career. Overall Bergeron was exactly what we expected from him. Solid offensive production, while being one of the best defensive forwards in the league, and one of the best in the face off circle. Even though Bergeron was slumping and fighting through injury to begin the year, he broke out and had another really great season. He finished the playoffs with 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points in 6 games. It should be noted that Bergy played the whole season with a sports hernia. Bergeron doesn't get enough credit for being one of the toughest bastards in the league.
Did not suck. By almost every measure this was the best year Marchand has ever had. He put up 39 goals, 46 assists for 85 points in 80 games. Every one of those numbers was a career-high. Most people never thought Marchand would ever put up the numbers he did last year. Marchand came back after signing a new deal and broke all his career single season scoring numbers. Marchand has a $4.5 million cap hit which looks like an absolute steal for a guy like him right now. Marchand was the Bruins best scorer for the entirety of the season, and one of the only consistent LW on the team. Despite being the best regular season scorer Marchand left some to be desired in the playoffs. He posted only 1 goal in 6 games but did chip in 3 assists.
Sucked a little bit. Backes played 74 games and put up 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points, the lowest total Backes has put up in a full season since the 2007-08 season. Backes knows he can be better, he said it himself in his last interview. Father time catches up with everyone and it looked like Backes may have lost a step this season as far as his speed goes. Backes did provide a locker room presence that the Bruins have been lacking for a few years. The Bruins showed more fight in games, and never rolled over the way the team did the last two years. I attribute some of that to Backes' presence in the locker room and on the bench. He was clearly one of the leaders for this team and I wouldn't be surprised to see him wearing an A on his sweater next season. Hopefully next year Backes can put up numbers similar to what we saw when he was with St. Louis. If not, the next 4 seasons at $6 million per start to look a little scary. As a side note Backes finished the season with 69 penalty minutes (nice).
Did not suck. Pastrnak had a breakout year, as many predicted he would. 34 goals and 36 assists for 70 points. Like Marchand those were all career-highs. Pastrnak has become one of the young stars of the league, and locking him up should be one of the Bruins top priorities this season. At 20 years old Pasta is still developing his game. Not only did he improve his offensive output but he played better in every faze of the game. He still has a lot to improve on however. Namely staying on his feet, eliminating turnovers (he finished the year with 65 giveaways) and putting shots on net (203 shots blocked or missed the net). But theres a lot to be excited about with Pasta. In the playoffs he committed a bad penalty in OT of game 6, and missed the net A LOT. But he also had 2 huge goals. It was great for him to get some playoff experience. If Pasta continues to improve the way he did last offseason, its not out of the realm of possibility that he could be a 50 goal scorer at some point. The future is very bright for this guy.
Didn't suck, but didn't live up to his contract either. At $7.25 million per, Krejci is the highest paid Bruin, but he did not play like their best player. Krejci silenced the critics who called him injury prone by playing all 82 regular season games. He also gave those critics ammo when he got injured for the playoffs. Give Krejci credit, he gutted out his injuries and played 3 playoffs games, despite clearly not being at 100%. Krejci finished the season with 23 goals and 31 assists for 54 points. He was the Bruins 3rd leading scorer. He also finshed with a -12 rating. Some of Krejcis struggles this year came from never having a suitable left wing. A lot of guys played next to him but the Bruins never really found a guy to stick with. I would put a lot of Krejci's negative rating on the revolving door of wingers he played with. Him and Pasta had good chemistry and really work well together. I could see the Bruins trying to trade Krejci but with his cap hit and injury history they would not be able to get a huge return. With the Bruins already in need of a 3rd center they would really be in trouble if they moved Krejci, but getting his $7.25 million cap hit off the books would help them free up money for potential free agents. Krejci put up good scoring numbers but your highest paid player cannot have a -12 rating. Things might change if the Bruins can find a left wing to play with Krejci but right now he's the Bruins biggest overpay.
A lot of people thought he would suck, but he didn't. Maybe it was his young defensive partner, or maybe it was him wanting to prove critics wrong, but Chara had a huge resurgence, and played his best hockey in 3 years. Old age is surely catching up with Chara but at 6'9" 250 lbs he's still virtually impossible to get around. He was tied in +/- with Brad Marchand for team lead at +18, and was once again their best defender. He ate up more minutes than any other player on the team with 23:20 average time on Ice. Chara is on the books next year for $4 million on the last year of his contract. If he plays like he did this year thats great value for him. If a young guy like Carlo or McAvoy can take over the top minutes next year, Chara can get more rest and continue to play at a high level. He finished with 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points, 2nd in points only to Torey Krug and 1st in goals for Bruins defenseman.
Sucked on defense, good on offense. Krug finished the season with a -10 rating, by far the worst mark of any year in his 5-year career. The Krug-McQuaid line was just too inconsistent in their own zone. Too many bad games and it showed. It should be noted Krug ate up more minutes than anyone except Chara with 21:36 average time on ice. It wasn't all bad, Krug led all defenseman in points with 8-43-51. He was the 5th highest scorer on the team and was huge on the power play. The Bruins love Krug for his leadership on and off the ice, and just inked him to a new deal. I've heard some talk of trading Krug but no way in hell will that happen. The Bruins just signed him, and the orginazation loves him. Next year hopefully Krug can play a less defense first role and pair up with a guy like McAvoy or Colin Miller in sort of an offensive D pairing. Krug is the Bruins best offensive defenseman but his play on defense didn't cut it this year. Can't finish -12, just can't.
Sucked way less than anyone expected, was actually really good. Moore came to the team as nothing more than a 4th liner. By the end of the season, Moore's line was arguably the second best behind the Bergeron line. They were getting about equal minutes as the Krejci line. Moore finished the season with 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points. Good enough for 9th highest scorer on the team. Moore has played on 11 NHL teams and I hope he's here to stay with the Bruins. But he said "we'll see" multiple times when asked about next year, so his status as a Bruin is up in the air. He's a solid bottom line guy and can make plays in big moments for his team. He also played in all 82 Bruins games and every single playoff game.
Sucked. I hate to say it but Spooner has probably played his last game in a Bruins uniform. Spooner has been one of my favorite guys the last 3 seasons. I loved him on the Spooner - Lucic - Pasta line in 2014-2015 season. But Spooner's time has come. A traffic cone could play defense as well as him and he can't win a face off to save his life. He finshed -8 with a 38.9% winning percentage at the face off dot. Spooner has offensive skills and can be a huge asset on the power play. He's a restricted free agent, and with his offensive and power play abilities some team will be willing to give up something worth the Bruins while for his rights. Best of luck to Spooner wherever he goes but I would be surprised to see him in black and gold next year. He finished the year with 11-28-39.
Sucked. I love Frank but he didn't do enough this year. He's got an incredibly quick shot but he didn't score enough to justify the other deficiencies in his game. He had 10 goals, 8 assists for 18 points in 44 games and finished -3. Vatrano started hot but didn't score a goal in his last 16 games. He hit a wall but he has the skills to break through. He could be a 25+ goal scorer if he plays to his potential, and is able to score consistently.
Sucked at first, played well down the stretch. Nash doesn't have a ton of offensive skills, but he plays hard nosed hockey and is a good defender. He's not a guy that is going to score you a ton of points but he's a reliable bottom line guy. He can kill penalties and eat up minutes. He had 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points. Near the end of the season him and Nash really started playing well together and got more and more minutes as the season went on. Look to see Nash and Moore on a line together again next season if Moore returns.
Really good at first, sucked towards the end. Carlo hit a rookie wall in the middle of the season. He's a big kid and plays hard but he made too many mistakes down the stretch. Carlo is only 20 years old and will only get better. He showed a lot of good signs this season playing top line minutes next to Chara. He finished only behind Chara and Krug in average time on ice with 20:49 and got significant time on the penalty kill. Impressive season for a rookie defender, Carlo projects to be one of the Bruins best defenseman for years to come. The workload he took on this season is impressive, especially for a rookie. Carlo played in all 82 games for the Bruins, but suffered a concussion in the last game and missed all of the playoffs. He finished the season with 6 goals and 10 assists for 16 points and a +9 rating.
Sucked way less than last year. Miller missed significant time from injuries and scratches. He finished the season with 3 goals, 10 assists, and a +1 rating in 58 games. He averaged 17:48 time on ice. Where Miller stepped up was the playoffs. He was one of the Bruins best players in postseason. He was forced into a larger role due to injuries and he stepped up huge. Miller made his case to be protected by the Bruins in the expansion draft. Right now it looks like the Bruins will have to choose between him and Colin Miller. Whichever one of those two the Bruins decide not to protect will probably be playing in Vegas next year.
His game kind of sucked but his skills are jaw dropping. Miller can skate like the wind and he's got a wicked clap bomb. He skated the fastest and had the hardest shot at the AHL All Star Skills Competition. But he makes a lot of mistakes, he made some untimely turnovers and penalties, and sometimes has bad decision making. If he puts his game together more, and plays smarter he has the potential to be one of the leagues best defenders. He finished the season with 6-7-13, an even rating, and averaged 15:49 time on ice.
Did not suck. Tuukka had an aboslutely outstanding year. He was a workhorse for the Bruins finishing 3rd in games played, with 65. He also had 8 shutouts which was 2nd, only behind Braden Holtby. Rask finished with the 5th best goals against average of all starters with 2.23. Overall a really good year for Rask. He played fantastic in the playoffs, stealing the Bruins game 1, game 5, and should've stolen game 4. In game 4 Rask gave up 1 goal all game but the Bruins couldn't score a single goal and lost 1-0. Rask was absolutely nails in OT of game 5, and probably played the best game of his career. The Bruins wouldn't have made the playoffs without Rask, and would not have won a single playoff game. He was an absolute rock in net for the Bruins all year.
Sucked a little on defense, absolutely murdered people every time he dropped the gloves. Watching Adam McQuaid fight was one of the best parts of this Bruins season for me. He had a knockout punch on Matt Martin that was jaw dropping. McQuaid isn't the most skilled defenseman but God damn is he one tough bastard. McQuaid gives all he's got every second he's on the ice. He'll stick his face in front of slapshots to stop a goal. Brings his hard hat and lunch pail to every game. Grittiest player in the league. Love Adam McQuaid. Finshed 2-8-10 with a +4 rating and the most KO's on the team.
Sucked. finished 3-5-8 in 49 games with a -10 rating. Horrible. Beleskey was brought here to be the 2nd line winger next to Krejci and he wasn't even close. Beleskey needs to be better and he knows it. He said so himself in his last interview. Beleskey had 18-22-37 last year, if he can get back to that and improve on it he can be worth the $3.8 million the Bruins are paying for him. But this year he sucked, plain and simple.
Sucks. The Jimmy Hayes experiment is over. Trade him or buy him out because he has been terrible since getting to Boston. He had a hat trick last season, and other than that he's been invisible for 2 seasons. In 58 games he had 5 points this year. He did win the Bruins a game in a shoot out but he was useless for the most part. I feel bad for the local guy, but it hasn't worked out for him so far in Boston. Theres been no evidence so far that would make anyone believe that will change.
Sucked before the deadline, pretty damn good after. Deadline Drew, he provided a spark down the stretch for the Bruins and played solid in the playoffs. I have no problem with Drew coming back next year. He can help with depth scoring, which is something the Bruins desperately need. In 18 games, he put up 4-4-8 and a plus 8 rating. Not bad for a conditional draft pick. Drews had two 50 point seasons and had 43 points in 2013-14 and 38 points in 2014-15. If he can get back to those numbers he could be huge for the Bruins.
Sucked for everyone who was unfortunate enough to run into Noel. If nothing else Noel Acciari lays the body. He finished 8th on the team in hits, despite playing only 29 games. By far the most hits per game. Noel Acciari is a wrecking ball on skates and I love watching him. He's an all guts, no glory type of player. Up there with McQuaid as one of the grittiest players in league. He scored 2 huge goals for the Bruins down the stretch, the first 2 of his career. Noel is exactly what you want in a bottom line grinder guy. Plays hard, loves the game, puts anyone skating with their head down in a bodybag. The Moore - Nash - Acciari line was one of the best towards the end of the season.
Kind of sucked. Scored in bursts but never really had consistent play. He finished the season 7-7-14 with a -6 rating. He's from NH like me so he's my guy, but he missed some significant time to injury and never really established himself. He's another guy with potential to add depth scoring, and projects as a solid bottom line guy.