In this time of Thanksgiving, it’s only appropriate that Bruins players, coaching staff and management give thanks as everyone enjoys their turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and egg nog.
So, here is a list of what each member of the Bruins is thankful for on this last Thursday in November, and here’s hoping that everybody out there is enjoying a happy Thanksgiving with the ones they love.
Tuukka Rask is thankful that every game isn’t a shootout because he wouldn’t have enough sticks to make it through the season. Goalie Rage!
Zdeno Chara is thankful for a day off. The Bruins captain is a minus-3 on the season, and hasn’t been a minus player since his first forgettable year under Dave Lewis. His time on ice is up over 26 minutes a game in the month of November, but at least he clocked in at only 24:42 against the Red Wings on Wednesday night in a blowout loss.
Patrice Bergeron is thankful for a return of good health. While No. 37 isn’t consistently playing at his accustomed high level, the two-way center hasn’t missed a game after sustaining a punctured lung in the Stanley Cup Final. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Chris Kelly is thankful for new linemates in Carl Soderberg and Reilly Smith. The third-line center always has a pretty good poker face, but he couldn’t hide the difficulty trying to center a struggling line with Rich Peverley and Chris Bourque last year. Smith and Soderberg have returned the B’s line back to offensive respectability, and allowed Kelly to play his understated two-way game.
David Krejci is thankful it’s an Olympic year. The play-making center had 13 points and a plus-9 in 12 games during the month of October, and has five points and a minus-1 in 13 games in November. Some of it is streakiness and some of it might be related to Brandon Dubinsky bashing his head against the boards a couple of weeks ago, but the Olympics in February always bring out his best. That pretty much guarantees he’ll be at his best down the stretch, and into the postseason, where it’s an automatic for No. 46.
Milan Lucic is thankful it’s not a lockout year. The Bruins power forward has done a good job of clearly displaying that the lockout-shortened season last year was an aberration in which he had difficulty remaining in game shape. That caused him to have a really down regular season last year, but he’s been great while leading the B’s with nine goals and 18 points through 25 games.
Jarome Iginla is thankful he’s found a place where he can be just one of the guys rather than the captain holding everything together. Iginla has fit in well with the Bruins, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he and Boston get together on a long-term deal keeping him in Black and Gold.
Brad Marchand is thankful that he hasn’t been a healthy scratch quite yet, and that he was able to get some good hangout time with bromance partner Tyler Seguin when he was in town a few weeks ago.
Loui Eriksson is thankful that he’s not in Dallas anymore. Wouldn’t you be?
Carl Soderberg is thankful he finally left his hometown in Sweden to play in the NHL because the Big Swede can play.
Reilly Smith is thankful he’s out of the energy-line role he was forced into with the Stars, and instead is getting power-play time and five-on-five shifts with talented offensive linemates. Those two developments have helped Smith’s skill come to the surface, and turned him into the third leading point scorer on the Bruins.
Daniel Paille is thankful that the lockout is over, and that his NHLPA email inbox has been emptied after keeping his teammates aware of the situation while spread out all over Europe last fall and winter.
Gregory Campbell is thankful that his regular skating stride has returned in November after he was slow to heal from a broken leg memorably sustained in the Eastern Conference Final.
Shawn Thornton is thankful he scored a goal in the win over the Rangers after he was scratched on the road in Carolina.
Jordan Caron is thankful for his NHL per diem.
Dougie Hamilton is thankful for the pretty awesome fu Manchu moustache he’s been able to grow in November.
Johnny Boychuk is thankful for the good night’s sleep he’s been getting on the road for the first few months because that’s going to end when his twins are born in January.
Dennis Seidenberg is thankful for the MSPCA/Bruins Foundation dog calendar that allowed everybody to know that his dogs’ names are Wiggles and Bubbles Lollipop. It’s pretty clear his daughters had the naming rights.
Torey Krug is thankful for that overtime winner vs. the Penguins with Team USA head coach Dan Bylsma and assistant GM Ray Shero in the house. He may be a solid long shot to make the team, but he certainly hammered his point home to those two decision makers.
Matt Bartkowski is thankful that his time in the AHL is over. He’s proven he’s an NHL defenseman whether it’s in Boston, or somewhere else if the numbers game doesn’t resolve itself.
Adam McQuaid is thankful to be alive and well after a very scary blood clot situation last year. Watching him play this season makes you realize how weak he was while recovering from that issue last year.
Kevan Miller is thankful he got his shot in the NHL. He’s another one that’s already started to prove he is NHL caliber, and the Bruins might be the perfect fit for the rugged, tough blueliner.
Chad Johnson is thankful nobody calls him Ocho Cinco in the Bruins dressing room.
Claude Julien is thankful to finally have a power play this season that isn’t actively taking momentum away from his team.
Peter Chiarelli is thankful that new additions Reilly Smith, Jarome Iginla, Loui Eriksson, Carl Soderberg, Chad Johnson and Torey Krug are all turning out well for the Bruins after a turbulent offseason. The Bruins GM is also thankful he doesn’t have to keep tabs on Tyler Seguin’s social life anymore.
Cam Neely is thankful that he gets to spend Thanksgiving Day on a float in the Macy’s Day Parade with former New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter where he can enjoy some “hot toddies.”
Charlie Jacobs and Jeremy Jacobs are both thankful the NHL owners stuck to their guns in the lockout because they are among the league’s Lords of the Boards that are about to reap some serious rewards in TV deals, expansion fees and other financial windfalls from a game that’s growing by leaps and bounds.