MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Center Patrice Bergeron was hurt and playing at half-speed for the final games of the first-round ouster. He could take faceoffs because the injury was a partially torn oblique. It was clear how much a 100 percent Bergeron might have meant. He led the league with a plus-36 and won more faceoffs than any player in the league.
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER
Left wing Milan Lucic scored a respectable 26 goals and had 61 points during the regular season. But he scored five goals in the last 24 games, had just two two-goal games, the second of those Nov. 30, and then failed to score a goal in the seven-game playoff series, the last eight games overall.
The club downplays this, but there really isn't a stud scorer on this roster. Rick Nash is available in trade, but that will only happen if the Bruins send Tuukka Rask to Columbus, which isn't likely. The need for a puck-carrying defenseman is still there and GM Peter Chiarelli wants to beef up his third and fourth lines, size-wise, and also figure out a way to make the power play better, which a stud scorer and a puck-moving defenseman could help.
FREE AGENT FOCUS
The Bruins signed defenseman Johnny Boychuk and right wing Shawn Thornton to contract extensions, which left centers Chris Kelly (a priority) and Gregory Campbell and left wing Daniel Paille among the UFA's. Goalie Tuukka Rask and left wing Benoit Pouliot are potential RFAs. Defenseman Joe Corvo is a UFA and won't be re-signed.
The uncertainty of the salary cap figure, or even if the seaswon is going to start, makes for some interesting happenings around July 1.
--G Tim Thomas, about to enter the final year of his contract, loses his no-trade protection over the summer and could be moved as the Bruins could use the move to both get younger and open up cap space. Thomas had a phenomenal year in the run to the Stanley Cup last year but wasn't as good this season. Not bad, just not as good. But GM Peter Chiarelli is talking like he intends to keep both Thomas and backup Tuukka Rask.
"I'm happy," Thomas says. "I'm on a great team with a great coaching staff. I know it's a year later, but we just won the Cup together and that is very special. I did the best I could. On and off the ice, I tried to do what I felt was right to prepare myself as much as possible to do the best job I could possibly do in the ice, which is when it's obviously the most important as a professional athlete."
--D Zdeno Chara was named as one of the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, an award he won in 2009. He has been a finalist four of the last five seasons and five times overall. He finished second in 2004 and third in '08 and '11 and he's up against Ottawa's Erik Karlsson and Nashville's Shea Weber.
--C Patrice Bergeron is one of the finalists for the Selke Trophy that goes to the league's best defensive forward. He is up against three-time (in a row) winner Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit and David Backes of St. Louis.
"I take pride in playing on both sides of the rink and doing the little details in order to help the team win as much as I can and I think this award is somewhat, compensating the guys that play on both sides of the ice so yes, I'm happy with it," Bergeron said. "But at the same time, I don't really believe in individual awards as much as team efforts. Anytime you're nominated for an award like that, it's because of the help of your teammates."
--LW Milan Lucic didn't score a goal in the playoffs. The fans didn't like it. "That's (bleep)," said his center, David Krejci. "He didn't score. But he was still trying. He was trying to help as much as he could. Obviously, he wanted to put the puck in the net. It didn't happen. That's how it goes. I know him. He wants to win so bad. He put his heart on the line every night."
--Krejci was planning on playing for Czech Republic in the World Championships. He wasn't great in the playoffs, either. After leading all scorers in goals and points in the 2011 playoffs, he went the first four games without a point, had three points over Games 5 and 6 and went scoreless in Game 7.
--RW Brian Rolston becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1 and hadn't decided whether he will play another season. Now 39 and with his second stint with the Bruins apparently over, he says, "It's up in the air, pretty much, right n. We'll see how it goes. It's only a couple of days out of the playoffs here."
--General manager Peter Chiarelli says he expects twice-concussed right wing Nathan Horton to return for next season, but knows nothing is certain.
"It's not 100 percent, but in my experience with the concussions here, the information the doctors give me following the concussions and shortly in the rehab period, they've been spot on," Chiarelli said. "How Nathan's concussion was characterized for me was mild and was a completely different, independent of the hit in the (2011) finals.
"There's a whole bunch of other things that surround concussions that we're looking at with Nathan, but every bit of information provided to me in the past and with Nathan has been spot-on. I know we were expecting better recovery time for Nathan and for certain reasons he didn't, but I have complete confidence in the information that was given to me that he'll be back. I can't say it's 100 percent."
--C Patrice Bergeron, who played through some sort of injury in the final games of the playoffs, revealed he suffered a strained (partially torn) oblique in Game 3 and a broken nose in Game 5.
"It's a torn or strained oblique, in my abs," Bergeron said. "It's my core, so anything that has to do with moving my arms or moving my feet, it starts with the core. It started in Game 3 and it got worse. Obviously, I didn't play in the third period in Game 5 and I couldn't do anything. I tried in Games 6 and 7 and I was probably 60 percent, I don't know exactly."
--D Adam McQuaid admitted what everyone thought along, that he missed the playoffs because of a concussion. He said he was feeling much better by the end of the playoffs and vowed to be 100 percent next season.
"I'm feeling much better," McQuaid said. "I'm feeling like myself again. I'm obviously happy about that, but it was difficult watching. It's harder watching than it is playing because you feel helpless. It's not something you can play through, it's not smart to and hopefully I can play for many more years and I didn't want to jeopardize that."
--RW Tyler Seguin was slated to have surgery to repair a detached tendon in his left hand, an injury suffered March 15. He was told he would do no further damage if could play with pain, which he did. Seguin scored the club's last two goals of the season, the overtime winner in Game 6 and the only goal in Game 7 against Washington.
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