Boston Bruins player of the month | January
While the Bruins were limited to just two games last week, I’ve decided to forgo the Bruin of the Week and jump right into the big picture: The Bruins’ player of the month for January.
Posting an 8-4-2 record in 14 games this month (4-3-0 at home), the B’s remain first in the Northeast Division and third overall in the East with their 63 points (28-15-7 overall).
So, looking back on a very good month, who’s your pick for player of the month?
Zdeno Chara: 14 GP, 6-6-12, plus-7, 52 SOG
The 6-foot-9 Captain sure had one helluva month. With a hat trick against Carolina, Chara became just the fourth defenseman in Boston Bruins history to achieve such a feat. Now in the top-5 in the NHL with his plus-22 rating. Has logged the fifth-most minutes in the league, while sitting third overall with 26:08 average time on ice per game.
Patrice Bergeron: 14 GP, 8-9-17, plus-13, 35 SOG, 57.7-percent/face-offs
With his team-high 39 points (16 goals), a strong case could have been made to put No. 37 on this year’s All Star team. But nonetheless, Bergeron continues to be the best, most consistent player on the ice for Boston. He has taken the 11th most face-offs in the NHL this season, and is 12th overall with a 56.2 winning percentage. The quintessential three-zone player has tallied a plus-21 on the season, placing him in the league’s top-10.
Brad Marchand: 14 GP, 8-4-12, plus-15, 27 SOG
Of those scoring totals this month, Marchand has posted 4-2-6 and a plus-5 rating in three of his last five contests — three of those being game-winning goals in three games. The Calder hopeful, formerly part of the “Merlot Line”, has now played the last 10-or-so games with Mark Recchi and Bergeron which has directly related to his offensive production. This month, Marchand netted his league-leading fourth shorthanded goal of the season, while joining linemate Bergeron in the top-10 with his plus-21 rating.
Tim Thomas: 6-1-2, .941 save percentage, 288 saves on 306 shots, 2 shutouts
Thomas’ sensational season carried on through January, posting a goals-against average just north of his league leading 1.81. He is the team’s M.V.P. and the no-brainer Vezina Trophy pick this season; also leading the league in save-percentage (.945), shutouts (7), and second in wins (24).
Milan Lucic: 11 GP, 4-2-6, minus-1, 25 SOG
Maybe not the best month-totals statistically, but Lucic joined the 20-goal club (in 47 games) with the game-winner against Florida on Wednesday. Having missed three games in the middle of the month with an undisclosed injury, No. 17 played the final six games of the month on fire — posting 4-1-5, plus-1, and 14 shots on goal during that span.