During the middle of the 2011-12 season, I compiled a list of the 10 most valuable players for the Boston Bruins. That list included the likes of Daniel Paille, Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, Tyler Seguin and many more.
Now that the season is all said and done, it’s time to change things up.
Without further ado, in no particular order, I give you the revised list of the Boston Bruins' 10 most valuable players.
While Shawn Thornton rarely posts stellar numbers, the fourth line grinder has proved to be a very valuable asset to the Boston Bruins over the years. Grit defines this team, and Shawn Thornton is nothing short of the embodiment of the tough quality.
Let’s also not forget that Thornton is easily a fan favorite in Boston because of his physical style and willingness to drop the mitts with just about anybody.
Rask was sidelined with an injury in March but still proved to be one of, if not the best, backup goaltender in the league. A goaltender with Rask’s abilities could be the starter on any other team in the NHL, without a doubt.
Tuukka is young and sharp, and next season will get the chance to really shine. With Tim Thomas taking a year off, Rask will take over the number one spot as the B’s starting goaltender.
The organization, fans, and Rask himself know he is more than ready to take on this challenge.
Once again, our little pest had a fantastic season. Marchand nearly broke the 30-goal mark and had just 1 fewer goals on the season than the team-leading Tyler Seguin. A Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line will prove to be a recipe for disaster for the opposition in the future.
Marchand is already loaded with a plethora of skills, and can add to it with more experience. He reads the game well and has phenomenal hockey instinct. He can score goals and get under a player's skin, a fantastic combination of qualities for any player in the NHL.
This underrated D-man didn’t make my first list but is more than deserving of his spot on the revised one. Seidenberg is one of the most underrated defenseman in the game. The deadly postseason duo of him and Zdeno Chara has shown to be a great weapon for the B’s.
Seidenberg knows how to impose his will on the opposition; he’s not afraid to get physical when he needs to. He’s a defenseman that the B’s can almost always count on.
The hulking first line winger didn’t have the greatest season of his career statistically, but in many ways is incredibly valuable to this team.
I don’t think anyone in Boston (or Buffalo, for that matter) will ever forget Lucic’s steamrolling of Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. It’s those defining moments that really set the tone for a season. And while the Bruins season didn’t end spectacularly, they did have streaks of dominance throughout.
Milan’s controversial hit on Miller ignited a fire for this division rivalry, and a fire is just what the Bruins need to succeed.
Talk about a sophomore surge. Seguin put the pedal to the floor at the start of the season and didn’t let off the gas. Not only did the 20-year-old explode offensively, but he also improved his abilities in the defensive department. With more seasons under his belt, Seguin may someday become a Bergeron-caliber two-way forward.
Seguin will undoubtedly be the Bruins primary source for offense for many years to come.
Thomas’ numbers dropped significantly throughout the course of the 2012 season, but he still held the team together when he needed to.
There were moments where Thomas looked more human than he’d ever looked before: soft goals, mistakes you didn’t expect to come from the Conn Smythe, Vezina and Stanley Cup winner. But truthfully, it was almost impossible to match the season he had in 2011.
Still, when Rask went down with an injury, Thomas had to hold down the fort for the B’s through the remainder of the season and all throughout the playoffs. At his age, we were all hoping the postseason workload would ease up for the 38-year-old, but when Rask was abruptly sidelined, things got a whole lot more complicated.
At the end of the season, Thomas still had his 2011-esque moments and game-changing stops that kept the B’s in the game.
Chris Kelly is the definition of an unsung hero.
Kelly arrived in Boston at the halfway point of the 2010-11 season (along with Rich Peverley) in a trade with Ottawa and Atlanta. Over the course of 24 regular season games with Boston, Kelly notched only 5 points.
He then exploded during the postseason with crucial, game-changing goals (all while having a broken face). He managed to tally 13 points in 25 playoff games.
Now comes the 2012 season. The question some fans had was: will Chris Kelly continue to surge?
That he did. The third-line center was given the opportunity to stitch the “A” into his sweater and truly shine. Kelly surpassed his career-high 15 goals and proved to be a strong leader for the B’s.
The Norris Trophy nominee and captain will rarely be left out of the picture when speaking of the most valuable players in Boston. Chara had a strong 2012 season, exceeding his career-high points as well as assists.
Any NHL player will say that it is an absolute nightmare playing against the behemoth blue-liner. Not to mention he broke his own record by blasting a 108.8 mph slapshot at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.
Chara is a force to reckon with and is not only valuable to the Bruins, but the entire NHL.
Versatile, dynamic, intelligent. Just a few words that can be used to describe the immensely talented and valuable Patrice Bergeron.
There aren’t enough good things we could say about the guy. The Selke winner is the greatest two-way forward in the league, and one of the most respectable men to play the game. He continuously puts up solid numbers offensively each season and is a great leader, both on and off the ice.
Bergeron has been a helpful guide to young guns Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand throughout the previous season. Seguin himself even said that he idolizes Bergeron in many ways, and models some of his game after him.
There’s not much the man can’t do.
Bergeron is simply invaluable.