Centers are another strong point for the Bruins. Although the (at least temporary) loss of Savard is a big hit, the center core of the B's is still solid. With Seguin's future as a center (and technically as an NHL player) still in speculation, we decided to include him in a later post. Here's we'll focus on what we feel will be the main four (eventually): Marc Savard, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, and Gregory Campbell.
Last Year: Savard had a rough time last year, scattered injuries caused him to miss half the season, which made it hard for Savvy to get into any sort of rhythm.
All things considered, Savard's point production wasn't bad. In just 41 games he managed 33 points (10 goals and 23 assists). He put up 90 shots and despite being a playmaker, his shooting percentage was a solid 11.1 percent. Now if he would learn to shoot a little more instead of forcing a pass, that would be just terrific.
Especially given recent events, it's hard to say anything negative about his playoff productions. He managed 3 points point in 7 games after returning from the concussion, including a pretty dramatic overtime goal.
Role: Without a timetable for his return, it's tough to determine exactly what kind of production we can expect from Savard. Assuming he comes back this season and stays healthy, we're hoping to see him return to form and produce like he has in seasons past. He'll also need to battle Krejci for the top line, although I'd be lying if I said that a Lucic-Savard-Horton line didn't make our giblets tingle in anticipation.
..Not in a gay way though. More like a manly, beer drinking, fist pumping kinda way.
Patrice Purrgeron says: Keep your chin up Savard! And your head!
After the jump, we look at the other Bruins centers.
Last Year: As the above picture implies, he was a player that was sorely missed in the playoffs last year, we hate bringing this up but had he not been injured, who knows how the Philly series would have ended..
...and now I'm sad.
Truth be told, we were a little disappointed in Krejci last year (well, we were disappointed in most of the team, but that's besides the point). In 79 games he managed 52 point (17 goals, 35 assists). Had he turned it on earlier in the season, that production could have been much higher.
Krejci shined during the playoffs getting 4 goals and 4 assists in 9 games. He showed fantastic effort on the ice and gave Boston a reason to hope before his injury.
Role: This season, we'd like to see Krejci be more of the dynamic player he was during the 2008-2009 season. The best way he can do that is to increase his consistency. Krejci had a chance to do so much more during the first half of the season and step up as more of a staple. If he had, he could have cemented his role as a potential first liner...and my fantasy team wouldn't have dropped his ass two months in.
With Savard out, Krejci's role on the team is going to shift a little bit. He'll be looked upon to fill the gap left by Savard's injury and step up as top line center, a role he seems to relish and hopes to hold on to even after Savard's return. We like your spunk kid!
Patrice Purrgeron says: Don't make anymore commercials buddy, no one understands you!
Last Year: Arguably the most solid, reliable, and valuable player on the Bruins roster last season. Bergeron was one of those players who you always felt comfortable having on the ice. For example:
Point production was similar to Krejci, netting 19 goals and 33 assists (52 total points). Bergeron's real value comes with what isn't always shown in stats, and that's the effort he brings on every shift. Take the above video for example, without Bergeron on the ice, that's probably a goal.
During the playoffs, Bergy managed 11 points in the 13 games he played, not too shabby. Despite that, we just didn't feel his presence as much as we did during the regular season. Could be possible that he ran out of gas considering the way he played during the regular season. Either way, he's a beast.
Role: Obviously we would like to see Bergeron produce more offensively, but as stated before, that's not necessarily where his true value is (we'd be happy with at least 60-65 points, certainly obtainable). Whats really important is that he also keeps up his two way play in addition to upping his point productions.
With Savard on the mend, it's hard to imaging Bergeron any lower than the 2nd line. He, along with Recchi are playing on the same line as Tyler Seguin, a genius move by the management if you ask us. A young player like Seguin can learn a lot from Bergeron.
Patrice Purrgeron says: Don't be afraid to use that left hook more slugger!
Last Year: Lets be honest with each other, how much Florida Panthers hockey did you watch last year? Yeah us neither. Unlike Horton however, we were not in a hurry to visit Youtube and look for Greg Campbell highlights. He recorded 17 points and 158 hits, seems to be a traditional 4th line energy player.
Role: Best we can determine is that he'll assume a Begin-type role for the Bruins this year. We'd like to see him be more of a physical intimidating presence however. He could see some playing time on the 3rd line while Savard is out, but that may also depend on where Seguin ends up, or if any other rookies really impress. Of all the recent acquisitions from Florida (thanks for Horton and Seidenberg guys!) we're expecting the least from him but he should contribute to an already stellar Bruins penalty kill. Plus his dad can't use his wheel of random justic on the Bruins due to conflict of interest. Maybe someone compotent will do that now.
Patrice Purrgeron Says: Campbell Soup! M'm m'm good!