Best of the 2010s: Who's on the Bruins team of the decade?
It's been an interesting decade for the Bruins. No team reached the Stanley Cup Final more often than the Bruins during the last 10 years, but unlike the Blackhawks (3), Kings (2), and Penguins (2), who all won multiple Cups, the B's only won one Cup in their three trips to the Final.
And while the decade started with Boston becoming just the third team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead, the 2010s also included one of the greatest Game 7 comebacks in history (2013 vs. Toronto). So when putting together the All-Decade Team for the B's, who makes the cut? It's headlined by several players who have been around for all three runs to the Stanley Cup Final.
Left Wing: Brad Marchand
All but one of Brad Marchand’s career 610 points have been scored during this decade, and the left winger has gone from a fourth-line agitator in his rookie season to a perennial Hart Trophy candidate and one of the top scorers in the NHL over the last 10 years.
He was the only B’s player to hit the 100-point mark in this decade, and was a part of the decade’s only Stanley Cup winner for the Black and Gold. Nobody has scored more goals or points for the Bruins over the last 10 years. Not bad for a Little Ball of Hate, eh?
Center: Patrice Bergeron
The 34-year-old Bergeron is not only the best Bruins center of the decade, but would be in the running for the best all-around center in B’s franchise history. Bergeron has been a standout throughout his 16-year-NHL career, but he really came into his own while winning all four of his Selke Trophies over the last 10 years after leading his team to the 2011 Stanley Cup title.
Bergeron is one of the biggest reasons, both for his performance and for his on-ice leadership, that the Bruins have been in three Stanley Cup Finals during this past decade as well.
Right Wing: David Pastrnak
Arguments could be made for guys like Nathan Horton, Mark Recchi, Tyler Seguin or even Michael Ryder from the Stanley Cup team, but it’s got to be David Pastrnak after the way he burst onto the scene for the Black and Gold.
He’s averaged close to a point-per-game over the course of his NHL career with 160 goals and 335 points in 357 games, and has come into his own as he enters his mid-20s. It’s going to be fun to watch just how good Pastrnak can be in the next decade as he enters it as one of the NHL’s most exciting young stars.
Defenseman: Zdeno Chara
The Bruins captain came to Boston in 2006 as the most important player on the team, and has consistently been a steadying force and defensive stopper over the last 10 years.
Chara won the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2011 after leading the Bruins to their only Stanley Cup win, and has only gained in effectiveness as a team leader over the course of his Hall of Fame career.
During the first four seasons of this decade, he also averaged 14 goals and 46 points and still has the undisputed hardest slap shot in the NHL.
Defenseman: Torey Krug
Only Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and David Pastrnak have scored more points for the Bruins over the last decade than Krug, who has 314 points in 494 career games.
Some may look at his size and defensive challenges as reasons why he’s a “specialized defenseman,” but Krug has proven over his remarkable career that he’s a top-4 defenseman in every way — and he's elite when it comes to the offensive part of the game.
Krug is a masterful PP quarterback, a fierce competitor and an underrated part of the leadership group on the Bruins as well.
Goaltender: Tim Thomas
There’s no doubt Tuukka Rask has been the No. 1 guy for the bulk of this decade and has the accrued stats to back it up.
But it’s Tim Thomas that had arguably the best NHL season ever by a goaltender when he won the Vezina (2.00 goals against average and .938 save percentage) before capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy (16-9-0 with a 1.98 GAA and .940 save percentage) on his way to winning the Cup for Boston in 2011.
Rask has not been able to match that despite two kicks at the Stanley Cup Final can, so bragging rights for this decade’s best goalie go to the eccentric Thomas.