After the awful start to the year, the Bruins got back into it to sit one point out of first in the division, with two games in hand.
Matt Barkowski: Only played in three games with minimal ice time. Was a minus player in two of those October games. Did not appear ready to play in the NHL yet. Grade: Incomplete
Johnny Boychuk: The Prince of Pinchestan has been bailed out on most of his errant charges deep into the offensive zone. As the slowest member of the Bruins top six he needs to either get faster or make better choices when pinching. Is on an almost identical pace to last years offensive numbers, which would be a slower pace than his rookie season. Has a nice running total of hits and blocked shots. Grade: C-
Zdeno Chara: The captain looked spent and occasionally sullen in October, but was a big part of the turnaround in November. Had a 7 point +4 streak over four games to start November, hammered Robyn Regehr and has looked solid all month regardless of who he’s been paired with. Grade: B
Joe Corvo: Looked wretched in October. Part of this was settling in on a team that plays a radically different style than the Hurricanes, part was just not reading plays well. November has seen him level off to an efficient level of play. Nothing spectacular, no goals yet, but also hasn’t been the turnover machine that had people (nearly) fondly recalling the glory days of Wideman and Montador. Grade: C-
Andrew Ference: Currently on pace for 29 points on the season, which would be his most as a Bruin and second most of his career. Has put up solid numbers of hits and blocked shots, has even gotten some powerplay time this season. Still the feistiest tree hugger in town. Grade: B-
Steve Kampfer: Has only gotten into five games this season. Is a plus 4 in that very limited time. Has mostly been a victim of bad luck (other peoples good health) and worse luck (getting injured late in the preseason) he may find his way back into the lineup at some point soon if management decides to make any moves. Grade: Incomplete
Adam McQuaid: Has gotten some time riding shotgun with Chara in the past week or two and not looked out of place at all. Very responsible defensively and has only been a minus player twice this season. Needs to find some way to check the springiness of the boards that does not involve taking a header into them. Grade: B
Dennis Seidenberg: Oddly enough he has nothing like the offensive numbers he did last year, but has a much better plus/minus. Could top 200 each in hits and blocks which is a whole lot of bruises. The 176th pick of the 2001 draft (By Philadelphia) has now played more games as a Bruin than three of the four Bruins draft picks from that year (Shaone Morrison, Jonathan Sigalet, Milan Jurcina) and is in the top 25 in games played for that draft class. Grade B-
Coming up: Grades for goalies, coaching, management, and early 7th player candidate(s).