What a decade this was in New England sports! As we move into the 2020s, join NESN.com in looking back at the best of the best with the Boston Bruins All-Decade Team! (And check out the rest of our “Best of the Decade” content here.)
Though they only have one Stanley Cup to show for it, it has been was wildly successful decade for the Boston Bruins.
They’ve reached three Stanley Cup Finals, due in large part to a simply tremendous veteran core that is as dominant in 2019 as they were in 2010. We chose a top line and a second line comprised of the best of the best to wear the spoked “B” over the last 10 years, and it wasn’t easy.
Here’s the Bruins’ All-Decade Team.
Tuukka Rask (2007-present)
Tim Thomas might’ve led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup, but in terms of overall play, it was Rask who has given the Bruins the most sustained success. Since becoming a full-time NHLer, Rask has never had a save percentage under .912 for a season, and, like Thomas, deservedly won a Vezina Trophy this decade. Part of what’s allowed the Bruins to be competitive pretty much every year has been largely thanks to a stable presence in net, something few teams can boast.
Top line: Patrice Bergeron (2003-present)
Second line: David Krejci (2006-present)
Bergeron is a perennial Selke candidate, and the Bruins never have had to worry about their top-line center situation over the last decade-plus. And if not for Bergeron’s presence, Krejci would be far more appreciated. He’s led the postseason in scoring, and for the back half of the decade found ways to keep his productivity up despite a revolving door of wingers.
Top line: David Pastrnak (2014-present)
Second line: Shawn Thornton (2007-2014)
Pastrnak, in just a few years of NHL action, has shown tremendous scoring prowess and is one third of what’s become one of, if not the, best lines in hockey. He’ll have much of next decade to continue making his case, but things only seem to be getting better for the 23-year-old.
Thornton played a vastly different role from Pastrnak during his Boston tenure, but relative to what he was asked to do, he was a massive contributor. He helped form a “Merlot Line” that was one of the best fourth units in Boston until maybe the current Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly, Chris Wagner group, and he provided a trademark grit that endeared himself to Bruins fans who fancy that style of play.
Top line: Brad Marchand (2009-present)
Second line: Milan Lucic (2007-2015)
It seems like Marchand still is finding ways to get better, which really is something given the decade he’s had. He’s put up at least 85 points in each of the last three seasons, and in addition to his scoring ability has become an increasingly pivotal penalty killer.
Lucic’s career downturn, which coincides with his departure from Boston, doesn’t take away from the fact that he was a two-way player that could do it all for the Bruins. He scored goals and created them for teammates, was a fine defender and always was more than willing to fight. The Bruins don’t win a Cup in 2011 without him.
Zdeno Chara (2006-present)
Torey Krug (2011-present)
Johnny Boychuk (2008-2014)
Dennis Seidenberg (2009-2016)
Chara saw a handful of blueliners join him on the top pairing over the years, and every time he remained a stabilizing force while providing sound leadership.
The only true “modern-day defenseman” of this group, Krug has gone from a relative unknown to one of the league’s elite scoring defensemen. Whatever shortcomings he’s had in the defensive area of his game (which, worth noting, has improved), Krug has more than made up for it with his point totals.
Only four of Boychuk’s six years in Boston were during the current decade, but he was a tough defenseman who was a nice anchor in the back end for a pair of deep postseason runs.
Seidenberg had a nice career, and some of his best seasons were spent playing alongside Chara. He never got enough credit for the offensive end of his game, which really speaks to how sound he was defensively.
It’s uncertain how much more the current Bruins core has in them, but they’ve already given us countless memories over the last 10 years.