The Bruins hope to knock down the Red Wings for good in Saturday's Game 5. (AP)

Zdeno Chara‘s great season ended in disappointment. (AP)

As the Stanley Cup finals take place, the fact that the Bruins didn’€™t even reach the Eastern Conference finals after winning the Presidents’€™ Trophy further accentuates the failure that was their 2013-14 season. Here are the individual grades:

DEFENSEMEN

Zdeno Chara: A-
Regular season stats: 77 GP, 17 G, 23 A, 40 PTS, plus-25
Postseason stats: 12 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 PTS, plus-4

The good: He was the best defenseman in the league in the regular season and was the most deserving Norris candidate, though the guess here is he’€™ll lose to Duncan Keith. The bad: He wasn’€™t himself in the last couple games against the Canadiens, which cemented the fact that when Chara isn’€™t right, neither are the Bruins.

Torey Krug: A-/B+
Regular season stats: 79 GP, 14 G, 26 A, 40 PTS, plus-18
Postseason stats: 12 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 10 PTS, minus-2
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT

Krug gets this high a mark because he’€™s a bottom-pairing defenseman who gives the Bruins major production in offensive situation and on the power play. He’s also getting better in his own end. It will be interesting to see what kind of money Krug commands as a restricted free agent, as this was just his first full season in the NHL.

Dougie Hamilton: B+
Regular season stats: 64 GP, 7 G, 18 A, 25 PTS, plus-22
Postseason stats: 12 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 7 PTS, plus-1

When he was healthy, Hamilton made big strides in his second season. Paired with Chara on the Bruins’€™ shutdown pairing in the postseason, he had a ball against the Red Wings in the first round, but his Game 3 mental gaffe with P.K. Subban coming out of the penalty box was the low point of what was otherwise a very promising campaign from the 20-year-old.

Johnny Boychuk: B+
Regular season stats: 75 GP, 5 G, 18 A, 23 PTS, plus-31
Postseason stats: 12 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS, plus-3

Know who loves playing for the Bruins? Johnny Boychuk. Know who’€™s in the prime of his career (30) and a really good right-shot defenseman who could command a ton of money if he hits free agency after next season? Johnny Boychuk. This could get interesting. The Bruins could either concede that they won’€™t be able to afford him by trading Boychuk this offseason or they can try to get a deal done with him before the season starts, the latter of which is Peter Chiarelli‘€™s usual plan of attack.

Kevan Miller: B+
Regular season stats: 47 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 PTS, plus-20
Postseason stats: 11 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 PTS, plus-2

He’€™s a young defenseman who isn’€™t immune to making mistakes, but he’€™s steady enough to play the Adam McQuaid role of third-pairing defenseman with a healthy dose of nasty. While Miller proved himself to be an NHL regular, his first taste of the playoffs wasn’€™t so swell, as his postseason will be remembered for his giveaway in Game 6 against the Canadiens that resulted in what would end up standing as the game-winning goal. The fact that he signed a two-year extension with an $800,000 cap hit might make him a better commodity than McQuaid going forward.

Dennis Seidenberg: B
Regular season stats: 34 GP, 1 G, 9 A, 10 P, plus-11
Postseason stats: DNP

Seidenberg was fine before he went down with a torn ACL/MCL, and you have to commend his effort to return to the lineup, which he would have done had the Bruins reached the Eastern Conference finals. He signed a four-year extension before the first game of the season. 

Matt Bartkowski: C
Regular season stats: 64 GP, 0 G, 18 A, 18 PTS, plus-22
Postseason stats: 8 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 PT, plus-2
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT

Regular season: good. Postseason: not so good.

Bartkowski was supposed to be the team’€™s seventh defenseman, and he was good enough following Seidenberg’€™s injury that the team preferred him over Andrej Meszaros down the stretch. Bartkowski had a very rough go of it in the second round against the Canadiens, however, taking penalties at inopportune times and losing track of Dale Weise on Montreal’€™s first goal in Game 7.

Adam McQuaid: C-/D+
Regular season stats: 30 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 PTS, plus-12
Postseason stats: DNP

At this point of his career, staying healthy isn’t just half the battle for McQuaid, it’s most of it. McQuaid couldn’t stay healthy, and while it appears Miller has taken his job, there’s probably minimal trade value for a player who can’t stay on the ice. As such, don’t be surprised if McQuaid isn’t moved this offseason.

Andrej Meszaros: C-/D+
Regular season stats: 14 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 PTS, plus-4
Postseason stats: 4 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 PTS, plus-1
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT

The good news is that the conditional pick didn’€™t vest, as the third-round pick the B’€™s sent to Philadelphia would have become a second-rounder if the Bruins had reached the conference finals and Meszaros had played in at least two-thirds of Boston’€™s playoff games. Despite Bartkowski being sick early in the playoffs and scratched for Games 2 and 3 against Montreal, Meszaros didn’€™t make a strong enough case to stay in the lineup, and he was a disaster in Game 3.

Philadelphia could still get that second-rounder from Boston if the B’€™s sign Meszaros before the draft (or a 2015 fourth-rounder if they sign him after the draft), but don’€™t expect either to happen. He’€™s an OK defenseman who should probably sign with a bad team that will keep him in the lineup.

Incomplete: David Warsofsky, Corey Potter, Zach Trotman

GOALTENDERS

Tuukka Rask: A-
Regular season stats: 58 GP, 36-15-6, 2.04 GAA, .930 SV. %, 7 SO
Postseason stats: 12 GP, 7-5, 1.99 GAA, .928 SV. %, 2 SO

At this point, the only thing the Bruins need to see from Rask is the Stanley Cup, and this season figured to be as good as any for him to win his first as the starter. Rask was the best goalie in the NHL during the regular season and should win the Vezina, making the team’€™s second-round exit all the more disappointing. Rask was hit or miss against the Canadiens,

Chad Johnson: A-
Regular season stats: 27 GP, 17-4-3, 2.10 GAA, .925 SV. %, 2 SO
Postseason stats: DNP
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT

Midseason wraparound issues aside, Johnson was the ideal backup goalie for the Bruins. He played against weaker competition, sure, but he also shut out the Kings in January when Rask had to face the Blackhawks the day before. Flip a coin as to whether he’€™s back next year, as he can in all likelihood get more than the $600,000 he made this year on the open market, while the Bruins have Niklas Svedberg ready to take over as backup goaltender.

Incomplete: Niklas Svedberg

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins announced Sunday that they have signed defenseman Linus Arnesson to an entry-level contract.

Arnesson was drafted in the second round (60th overall) of the 2013 draft, but was the Bruins’ first pick given that their first-rounder was dealt to the Stars in the team’s trade for Jaromir Jagr during the lockout-shortened 2013 season.

The 6-foot-1, 188 pound Sweden native spent last season playing for Djurgarden of the Allsvenskan league. Arnesson dressed in 44 regular-season games, scoring a goal and adding five assists while posting a plus-two rating. He also played for Team Sweden in the World Juniors.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Rangers eliminated the Canadiens in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals to advance to the Stanley Cup finals Thursday. Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 18 shots he faced in a 1-0 win for his first shutout of the postseason.

The Canadiens, who upset the Presidents’€™ Trophy-winning Bruins in the conference semifinals, played the final five games of the season with top goaltending prospect Dustin Tokarski in net after Carey Price was lost for the series after an injury suffered in Game 1 against the Rangers.

The upcoming series, which will played against either the 2012 Cup champion Kings or 2013 Cup champion Blackhawks, marks Lundqvist’€™s first trip to the Cup finals. The Rangers were last in the Cup finals in 1994, when they won the Stanley Cup in seven games over the Canucks.

It also marks a quick turnaround for a team that fired coach John Tortorella after last season and replaced him with former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

The Kings lead the Western Conference finals, 3-2, entering Friday’€™s Game 6.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Next season could be big if Danny Picard's prediction turns out to be true. He and Mike Giardi also take a look at Shawn Thorton and the rest of the 4th line.
Next season could be big if Danny Picard's prediction turns out to be true. He and Mike Giardi also take a look at Shawn Thorton and the rest of the 4th line.

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[0:04:27] ... in the first it. That's who was making the first -- Boy Doug Hamilton. And -- when he got his daddy gotta allow time to get so it's not a long way to I think if ...
[0:05:05] ... on. Batted like I got an NFL network needed an attack in Houston Texans locker room pretty much put it right and JJ watts face pretty shameless act. You gotta you've got to promote in that ...
[0:05:38] ... sorry not that's all right I remember this and you're talking about Doug Hamilton. And you were talking about the how when he was scratched here for a couple games I think in -- -- are ...






Both Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly have undergone surgery for injuries suffered this season and are expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to a statement released by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli.

Both Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly have undergone surgery for injuries suffered this season and are expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to a statement released by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli.

Lucic suffered a left wrist injury of Game 7 of the second round against the Canadiens, while Kelly missed the entire postseason with a herniated disk in his back.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to discuss the upcoming offseason for the Bruins and the Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins will enter this offseason with 11 free agents (five unrestricted, six restricted). One of Boston’s biggest decisions over the coming months will be what to do with Jarome Iginla, who is set to hit the open market. Iginla tied for the team lead in goals with 30 and fit in perfectly with Boston’€™s first line of Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

However, concerns have been raised over both Iginla’€™s age (he will turn 37 on July 1) and the price that it would take to bring the future Hall of Famer back.

“The last time I talked to Jarome was right before Game 7 and I thought he was doing great. He just loves being in Boston,” McGuire said. “€œHe really enjoyed his teammates, really enjoyed playing with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, so that’€™s No. 1. No. 2, I think that you can get him signed to a deal, and I think the Bruins probably want to get him signed to a deal. He did a really good job. There will be a marketplace for him, but I have to think he’€™ll want to stay in Boston.”

Another difficult decision this summer will revolve around the whether or not to bring back Shawn Thornton, who has been a mainstay on the Merlot line for seven season in Boston.

“A team like Calgary would definitely have interest [in Thornton]. You have to have a previous relationship with a player like Shawn to know his actual value to the organization, especially behind closed doors. So I think that’€™s something that plays to Shawn’€™s favor,” McGuire said. “But I would caution Shawn on this. He’€™s had a tremendous career. He’€™s made a lot out of nothing because he’€™s worked so hard to get there. … He’€™s a Bostonian.

“Even though he’€™s from Ontario and he’€™s played for a lot of other teams, he’€™s a Boston guy. He’€™s a Boston Bruin. That’€™s how he should be remembered. I just hope he wouldn’t do it as a short-term deal, because I don’€™t think he has more than another year left to play. I would hate to see him leave and not be remembered as Boston Bruin, because that’€™s what he is.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

On whether the Canadiens can overcome the loss of goaltender Carey Price: “The only way is if Montreal wins Game 3 and wins it in a comfortable manner. I don’€™t know if they’€™re going to be able to do that. … This could be a real quick series. … [Price] gives that team a lot of confidence and a lot of mojo. … They don’€™t have any room for error and they had more room for error when they had Carey.”

On the potential of the Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals: “The one thing about the Rangers is that they’ve got this thing going about family and unity that they didn’t have before and obviously a lot of that had to do with the passing of Martin St. Louis‘€™ mother. They also have a great equalizer in Henrik Lundqvist, and ever since the Olympics he’€™s been amazingly dialed in for the Rangers and obviously for Team Sweden. … I think the biggest thing for the Rangers is just get through this series and let [the Kings and Blackhawks] beat each other up.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

The Canucks confirmed Wednesday that they have hired Jim Benning away from the Bruins to serve as their general manager. He will be introduced at a Friday press conference.

Jim Benning

Jim Benning

The Canucks confirmed Wednesday that they have hired Jim Benning away from the Bruins to serve as their general manager. He will be introduced at a Friday press conference.

Benning, 51, was the assistant general manager for the Bruins. The Edmonton native joined the B’s as director of player personnel in 2006 after spending 12 years in the Sabres organization.

Benning replaces Mike Gillis (a former Bruins forward), who was fired last month by new Canucks president Trevor Linden after the team finished 12th in the Western Conference with a 36-35-11 record. Coach John Tortorella also was fired.

Benning, a defenseman, and Linden were teammates on the Canucks in the late 1980s, although Linden said they had not been in touch since then.

“There were moments of clarity for me in speaking with Jim that we just really connected on a hockey level,” Linden said in a story on the team website. “Our beliefs on how success is built in the National Hockey League were very aligned.”

Added Linden: “Jim is an extremely hard worker, he recognizes how much commitment it takes to build a championship team. He’€™s a guy that doesn’€™t have an ego, I think he’€™s looking forward to rolling up his sleeves and getting to work, and he’€™s a very down to earth dedicated person, so he’€™s going to fit great in the structure with the organizational values that we want to create here. I’€™m looking forward to working with him.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar