The Bruins, on the whole, had a pretty spectacular 2011. After winning the Stanley Cup back in June, everything else is pretty much gravy.
Throw in a summer touring the Cup all over the world, a tremendous hot streak this season to storm from last to first place in the standings, and you’re looking at a pretty complete year with a lot to feel good about.
The question is, could any of these players be singled out as having the “best” year out of all their teammates?
Tim Thomas, for one, led the Bruins to their Stanley Cup victory and picked up the Conn Smythe and Vezina trophies along the way at the ripe old age of 37.
Another guy that easily had a great 2011 was Zdeno Chara, who finds himself in the mix for a Norris trophy this season and was an instrumental part of the team’s strong playoff run. As an added bonus, the team captain was the first to get to raise the Stanley Cup.
Tyler Seguin began his breakout 2011 with a four-point period in the Eastern Conference final and hasn’t let his foot off the gas pedal since. The 19-year-old forward leads the Bruins in points heading into 2012 and has already bested his career high for goals in a season with plenty of hockey left to be played.
Another viable candidate for having the best year is Patrice Bergeron. The B’s alternate captain is quietly leading the team in assists and seems to step up whenever the team needs him to come up with a key pass of an important face-off win. A healthy Bergeron was a force to be reckoned with in 2011 and shouldn’t expect to slow down as the calendar turns.
David Krejci had quite the year as well. After getting injured in the playoffs the year before, Krejci made his prescence felt this time around, leading the league in scoring during the 2011 postseason with 12-11-23 totals. To top it all off, Krejci signed a three-year, $15 million contract extension with the Bruins, making sure that he’ll be enjoying future years to come wearing black and gold.
And a year-end retrospective without Brad Marchand wouldn’t be much of a retrospective at all. If earning new nicknames was an indication of a good year, Marchand would win the title hands down. But whatever you like to call him — “Brat,” “Nose-Faced Killah,” “Marshmont,” “Honey Badger” or something else — he certainly had a year to remember in 2011.
With all the candidates to lay claim to having a great 2011, it’s pretty easy to see why the Bruins should expect to have a similarly awesome year in 2012.