All NHL teams use four lines of forwards but as we all know, Bruins head coach Claude Julien is a huge fan of rolling all lines. It was an easy approach to make fun of until Boston’s fourth line was a huge reason why it beat Vancouver in Game 7 to take the Stanley Cup in 2011. Now we understand the value of having four lines that you can rely on rather than just one or two – then a couple lines of guys that don’t fit together.
2011-12: 22 goals, 42 assists, +36, 20 penalty minutes, 191 shots on goal
After years of deserving it, Boston’s assistant captain finally captured the Selke Trophy – given to the best defensive forward in the NHL – last June. He is the most well-rounded forward on the team and is also excellent on face-offs.
2011-12 (at AHL’s Hershey Bears): 27 goals, 66 assists, -1, 43 penalty minutes, 290 shots on goal
The older of former Bruins legend Ray Bourque two sons, Chris is likely to be the only new forward on Boston’s opening day roster for 2013. He’s paid his dues in the minor leagues and after 33 games in the NHL (with Washington and Pittsburgh), it’s time to see if the 26-year-old can stick around.
2011-12: 8 goals, 8 assists, -3, 80 penalty minutes, 74 shots on goal
The center on Boston’s checking line, Campbell is not afraid to fight even though he isn’t the biggest guy. He is also great on the penalty kill.
2011-12: 17 goals, 15 assists, 0, 54 penalty minutes, 90 shots on goal
Nobody’s health will be monitored closer than Horton who missed almost half of last season plus the playoffs due to ongoing concussion issues. When he’s in the lineup, the B’s seem to play much better as everyone takes on their rightful role.
2011-12: 20 goals, 19 assists, +33, 41 penalty minutes, 122 shots on goal
No Bruins forward overachieved more in 2011-12 than Kelly, who posted a career-high in goals and plus/minus. He knows who he is and always gives an honest effort.
2011-12: 23 goals, 39 assists, -5, 36 penalty minutes, 145 shots on goal
Krejci is the ultimate hit or miss forward on the Bruins. He led the team in scoring during the 2011 playoffs but he then disappeared for many games last season. When he’s right, he is by far their best passer and playmaker.
2011-12: 26 goals, 35 assists, +7, 135 penalty minutes, 149 shots on goal
A crowd favorite, Lucic is Boston’s most physical forward that has the ability to dominate a game in multiple ways: scoring goals, big body checks and fighting. Unfortunately, like Krejci he was also a ghost way too many times last season.
2011-12: 28 goals, 27 assists, +31, 87 penalty minutes, 167 shots on goal
Marchand had an excellent season last year and you can never question him in terms of getting the most out of his abilities. Every team in the NHL might hate him but they would all love to have him. He’s a big game player that usually shows up when it matters most.
2011-12: 9 goals, 6 assists, -5, 15 penalty minutes, 86 shots on goal
One of Boston’s fastest skaters, Paille is also their best penalty killer. He is not very skilled but he makes up for it by being versatile and tough. He battled through a bunch of little but nagging injuries last season, he deserves a better fate this year.
2011-12: 11 goals, 31 assists, +20, 22 penalty minutes, 112 shots on goal
When he’s healthy (he missed 25 games in the regular season last year), Peverley can do it all on the ice: power play, even strength, short handed. His shots might miss the net way too often but he is still a very valuable player for the Bruins.
2011-12: 29 goals, 38 assists, +34, 30 penalty minutes, 242 shots on goal
Every teenage girl’s Bruins related crush. Seguin turns 21 on Jan. 31 (think that’ll be an epic blowout?), is already Boston’s most talented forward and he has barely scratched the surface with his considerable talent. Look for his numbers to continue to go up as he gets older and stronger.
2011-12: 5 goals, 8 assists, -7, 154 penalty minutes, 114 shots on goal
Boston’s enforcer and everyone’s favorite resident of Charlestown returns for another season with the Black and Gold. I can’t imagine anyone that roots for the Bruins who doesn’t like Thornton, he seems like a great teammate and guy off the ice.