In perhaps the strangest way, the Bruins were better than anyone expected them to be this season. They lost their second-best defenseman and got relatively little production from the player perceived to be their biggest offseason acquisition, but the B's won the Presidents' Trophy, had by far the best differential in the league (plus-84; the next team was plus-57) and had terrific special teams (third in power play, eighth in penalty kill).
With that said, it's worth looking back on what we expected the Bruins to do as individuals and how they fared. The biggest surprises were Carl Soderberg and Reilly Smith, while guys like Jarome Iginla were able to match lofty expectations.
Players such as Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller, neither of whom were expected to play a ton, are not included given that we made no 82-game projections for them. All projections were under the assumption that the players would play around a full season, with an asterisk denoting players having missed 10 or more games.
WEEI.com preseason projection: 23 goals, 52 assists, 75 points
2013-14 stats: 19 goals, 50 assists, 69 points
We overshot it a bit, but having a consistent right winger in Jarome Iginla meant he hit 50 assists for the second time in his career. Krejci has established himself as one of the best postseason players in the game by leading the league in playoff scoring in two of the last three seasons, so get ready for some more big games from him.
Preseason projection: 35 goals, 29 assists, 64 points
2013-14 stats: 30 goals, 31 assists, 61 points
Iginla came as advertised. Boston and Krejci have been a perfect fit for him, and despite two stretches of eight games without a goal, he hit 30 goals for the 12th time in his career.
Preseason projection: 31 goals, 30 assists, 61 points
2013-14 stats: 24 goals, 35 assists, 59 points
Lucic has finished with 62, 61 and 59 points in his last three full seasons, so that's about what he's going to generate in regular seasons. Those numbers won't jump off the page, but his style of play makes him worth the $6 million cap hit.
Preseason projection: 22 goals, 49 assists, 71 points
2013-14 stats: 30 goals, 32 assists, 62 points
The expectation here was that he would have more assists because, with the addition of Loui Eriksson, he figured to have a much better right winger. That obviously didn't happen, and there was a feeling-out period early in the season as Bergeron returned from his laundry list of injuries (six points in the first 15 games), but Bergeron was sensational from the last game before the Olympic break until the end of the season.
After picking up another gold medal in Sochi, Bergeron should win the Selke (watch out for Anze Kopitar, though), and he'll get some Hart votes as well. It's taken some time, but Bergeron finally is being universally recognized as one of the top hockey players in the world.
Preseason projection: 31 goals, 26 assists, 57 points
2013-14 stats: 25 goals, 28 assists, 53 points
Marchand recovered nicely from a dreadful start in which he had just one goal over the first 14 games. Even if he was OK early on, he'd have had a legitimate shot at hitting 30 goals, but he found his groove after catching some heat for his behavior in games in December against the Canucks and Flames.
Speaking of behavior, guess who played in 82 games? That's right: For the first time in his three 82-game seasons, Marchand was not suspended.
Preseason projection: 28 goals, 37 assists, 65 points
2013-14 stats: 10 goals, 27 assists, 37 points (61 games)
This season wasn't easy for Eriksson, as he was slow to find chemistry with Marchand and Bergeron before suffering two concussions, so much of the season was either getting used to a new team or returning from injury. For a guy who had played in one place in NHL career and had never really been hurt (three games missed in his last four seasons in Dallas), that was understandable.
The good news is that Eriksson has developed great chemistry with countryman Carl Soderberg to make one of the best third lines in the league. If anyone gets hurt on the top two lines, he's probably the guy who moves up.
Preseason projection: 12 goals, 20 assists, 32 points
2013-14 stats: 9 goals, 9 assists, 18 points (57 games)
Kelly missed multiple weeks for the second straight season as a result of a slash from Pascal Dupuis that gave him a broken fibula, but since moving to left wing to accommodate the emergence of Soderberg, Kelly can finally say he plays on a good line. That wasn't the case last season.
Preseason projection: 14 goals, 17 assists, 31 points
2013-14 stats: 16 goals, 32 assists, 48 points
This time last year the Bruins were wondering what they had in Soderberg. Now they know that they hit a home run in bringing him over from Sweden, as his presence gives the Bruins the best third line they've had since the days of Kelly between Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley. Soderberg also played a big role in the emergence of Reilly Smith, as those two were magical on the Bruins' second power-play unit.
Preseason projection: 10 goals, 17 assists, 27 points
2013-14 stats: 20 goals, 31 assists, 51 points
The Bruins expected Smith to make the team all along, but they penciled him in as a third-liner. That all changed when Smith raced to 18 goals and solidified himself as the second line right winger, but a midseason illness brought with it quite the statistical drop-off. Smith had just two goals in the final 25 games of the season, though he did play all 82 games.
Preseason projection: 10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points
2013-14 stats: 8 goals, 13 assists, 21 assists
Campbell played a full 82 games coming off that broken leg suffered in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Not too shabby.
Preseason projection: 13 goals, 10 assists, 23 points
2013-14 stats: 9 goals, 9 assists, 18 points (72 games)
A pair of concussions (and a third scare) kept him out of some games, but Paille remains an elite penalty killer and a sneakily skilled player.
Preseason projection: 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points
2013-14 stats: 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points (64 games)
Thornton's season will be remembered for the ugly scene with Brooks Orpik that got him banned for 15 games, but Thornton took his medicine and continued to serve his role for the B's. He's a free agent at the end of the season and wants to play at least two more seasons.
Preseason projection: 13 goals, 37 assists, 50 points
2013-14 stats: 17 goals, 23 assists, 40 points
Less helpers than usual, but being in front of the net on the power play rather than at the point will do that. Chara turned in another strong season as the league's most difficult defenseman to play against and deserves to win the Norris.
Preseason projection: 11 goals, 19 assists, 30 points
2013-14 stats: 14 goals, 26 assists, 40 points
He had some lulls, but Krug certainly exceeded expectations in his first NHL season and helped turn the Bruins' top power-play unit into one of the better ones in the league.
Preseason projection: 10 goals, 20 assists, 30 points
2013-14 stats: 7 goals, 18 assists, 25 points (64 games played)
It was pretty apparent early on in the season that Hamilton had taken a step forward in his second NHL season. His time on ice went up nearly two minutes per game, as he went from 17:08 a night to 19:06, and he should be Chara's partner when the playoffs open Friday.
Preseason projection: 4 goals, 15 assists, 19 points
2013-14 stats: 5 goals, 18 assists, 23 points
In both of the Bruins' deep playoff runs the last three seasons, Boychuk had more goals in the playoffs than in the regular season. He had six last postseason, so perhaps it happens again.
Preseason projection: 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points
2013-14 stats: 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points
This obviously was an extremely frustrating season for McQuaid, as he was limited by a quad strain for the majority and very well may have lost his job to Kevan Miller in the process.
Preseason projection: 54 starts, 2.20 goals-against average, .922 save percentage
2013-14 stats: 58 starts, 2.04 goals-against average, .930 save percentage
One of the questions entering the season was how many starts Rask would get in his first 82-game season as a starting goalie. The answer ended up being 58, or the most of any Bruins goalie since Claude Julien has been the coach.
Rask also had a league-leading seven shutouts. If he doesn't win the Vezina, the fix might be in.
Preseason projection: 28 starts, 2.41 goals-against average, .912 save percentage
2013-14 stats: 23 starts, 2.10 goals-against average, .925 save percentage
His training camp and preseason raised some questions, but Johnson was perhaps the best backup goalie in the NHL this season.