Here are some interesting, if not very surprising, tidbits about the Bruins from an annual survey, with results that first appeared in the Boston Herald, that lets fans grade the New England area’s professional sports teams:
Beloved center and B’s heart-and-soul leader Patrice Bergeron is the team’s most popular player, according to the fan vote, and the B’s are within shouting distance of surpassing the Red Sox in regional popularity.
“I’m always impressed with how smart the fans are about their teams,” said Sue Monahan of Channel Media & Market Research in Sudbury to the Herald. “They have very strong opinions and they expect the teams to be competing every year. They won’t let ownership get away with it if they don’t.”
According to the survey, the Patriots were chosen as the favorite team by 42 percent of those polled. Despite their dismal year, the Red Sox came in second with 30 percent, while the Bruins and rebuilding Celtics took 21 and 6 percent of the vote with the Revolution at 1 percent.
The favorite players on each team were Tom Brady, Dustin Pedroia, Patrice Bergeron and Rajon Rondo. Players who exceeded fans’ expectations included Bruins second-year defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who enjoyed a breakout season and a strong performance in the playoffs.
Interestingly, general sports fans also don’t agree with the Bruins’ decision to part ways with Shawn Thornton. Only 3 percent of fans gave their decision to let the B’s popular enforcer walk away in free agency a top grade.
Bruins players who didn’t live up to the fans’ expectations included Brad Marchand, Jarome Iginla, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara and Carl Soderberg. I can understand most of these given the way things went in the playoffs, but disappointment in Soderberg’s promising first NHL season is ludicrous.
The survey was conducted from Aug. 12-24 and 40 percent of the respondents were from Massachusetts, with the other 60 percent coming from the remaining four New England states. Seventy-five percent of those polled were male, and the majority of voters were between 25 and 44 years old.