BOSTON – The Boston Bruins' depth chart looks unbelievably well-padded at the outset of the 2019-20 NHL season. But there is more than depth to brag about in Boston's impending lineups. The players at the top of each position are among the best in the entire league.
Tuukka Rask proved that he is an elite goalie in hockey. Charlie McAvoy showed he is the defenseman of the future, alongside Zdeno Chara, who is a stalwart veteran defenseman. And David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand have a case to be the fastest, most aggressive wings in the game and I also made a bold prediction that Pastrnak will net MVP honors this year.
But as talented as the Bruins' starters are going to be in the new season, none of them are as talented at their respective position as Patrice Bergeron is at center.
What can be said about Bergeron that hasn't already been said? He's one of the all-time greats and clearly the best Bruin of the past twenty-five years or so. We are so lucky to have another season of Bergeron in the pipeline because he is the type of presence that elevates every facet of the team during competitive games and he is an unequivocal asset if the Bruins hope to make a deep post-season run.
While I think Pastrnak is primed to claim the spot of the best on the Bruins, the title still belongs to Bergeron for now, even though the former was an All-Star in 2019 and the latter was not. Last year, Bergeron racked up 79 points, his most ever, in just 65 games, adding 17 points in 24 playoff games. He just keeps getting better with age and he is a bona fide leader on the ice, as well.
Additionally, Bergeron is actually healthy to begin this season, which seems to be increasingly rare (but we'll take it). His second line center, the venerable and consistent David Krejci, is also said to be healthy as the team gears up for the puck drop of the new year.
As for Krejci, he put up a whopping 73 points in 81 games last year and he continues to remain a glorious second option for the team, and would be many others' first choice to be center. Having the one-two punch of Krejci and Bergeron is arguably Boston's strongest asset. In the third line at center are Charlie Coyle, who more than proved his value last season, and Par Lindholm, who will likely see minimal ice time.
The Bruins' season kicks off on Thursday and I, for one, cannot wait to see Bergeron back on the ice!
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Michael Miller