|Connelly’s Top Ten: Bruins Up 2-0||2013 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: Third Round||After Three Hour Rain Delay, Red Sox Complete Sweep of Twins||2013 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: Second Round Results|
Throughout the regular season and the playoffs, the Bruins third line was extremely productive. Chris Kelly established a new career high in goals, and if Rich Peverely didn’t miss 25 games due to injury, he would have been challenging for the team lead in scoring. Benoit Pouliot, a former top five pick, had his best NHL season with the Bruins and will look to build on that next season.
With some amazing highlight reel moves and goals this season, Pouliot may soon earn some love from Bruins fans. He had a career high in goals with 16 and really meshed well on the third line. At times, he does take bad penalties and doesn’t show up for every game, but the speedy big-bodied winger could be a valuable piece to this team moving forward.
It’s up to the Bruins if Pouliot returns, considering he is an unrestricted free agent making it possible for him to sign with any team. I would love to see him back, since he is still a low-risk, high-reward player. Why not try to see if he reaches that top-five-pick potential.
What a surprise season it was for Kelly. When the Bruins traded for him last season, nobody thought a 20-goal scorer was on his way to Boston. Instead, he became another third liner with a career year, getting career highs in goals and points. Kelly was on a tear to start the season and he cooled off right when Pevereley got injured.
In a way, Kelly is a poor man’s Patrice Bergeron, a great three-zone player who you can trust on the ice in any situation. Kelly is also an unrestricted free agent, but I think we will see him back next season. Kelly wore the A on his sweater for part of the season and is a great locker room guy to have.
Peverley was on pace to have one of his best NHL season until he suffered a knee injury that made him miss 25 games. He’s another one of these guys who you can trust on the ice in any situation.
With 42 points in 57 games, Peverley proved to be one of the most productive forwards wearing a spoked B. He was also one of the few forwards who had it going it the playoffs with 5 points in the 7 games.
It truly was a blast from the past when Rolston was acquired at the trade deadline. It was a really slow start for Rolston when he joined the team, but he wound up with 15 points in 21 games. He seemed to be a little bit out of shape due to a lack of ice time with the Islanders. Rolston still has a cannon shot and played really well with Pouliot and Kelly.
He is a free agent and more likely than not he wont be back in black and gold. It would have been nice to see him get a chance to make a Cup run, but the 16-year pro could be hanging the skates up really soon.