Boston Bruins Three Stars: December


Boston Bruins Three Stars: December

It was a great month of hockey overall for the Boston Bruins and, once again, it was due to a complete team effort. It always seems to be the case that, whenever this team goes on winning streaks, it is never just because of one or two players performing above expectations.

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What makes the Bruins such a dominant team is the games when all of their players play to their potential. As always, unfortunately, the three stars can only mention a small fraction of the contributors. Here are the three stars of December.

Third Star: Ryan Spooner

Ryan Spooner has quietly had a pretty impressive year offensively. There have been times when his defensive game has not matched the level of the other Boston middlemen, but other than that, there hasn’t been much too complain about. The stats in December have Spooner ranked third on the team in points with 12 (behind Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson), tied for first on the team in assists with 9 (tied with Loui Eriksson) and also first on the team in power play goals, assists and points (all tied with Patrice Bergeron).

Dec 18, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Boston Bruins center Frank Vatrano (72) celebrates with center Ryan Spooner (51) after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It is obvious that Spooner is a very important part of the reigning best power play in the NHL, and as long as he continues to produce with those players, Claude Julien has no reason to remove him from that mix. It should also be mentioned that Spooner could become even more valuable to the Bruins with David Krejci being out week to week. Ryan Spooner has been given the responsibility of filling Krejci’s spot on the first line, and, in his first game in that spot, he was able to put up two assists. For all of these reasons, Ryan Spooner deserves to be mentioned as one of the Boston Bruins best players of the month.

Second Star: Patrice Bergeron

Patrice Bergeron continues to be the MVP of this team. Typically, he will always be reliable in defending, making smart plays and winning face offs so any form of offensive production is usually just considered an extra bonus. However, this year, Bergeron has brought his offensive game to a whole new level.

Dec 29, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) scores a goal past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In December, he led the team in goals with 6, was tied for the team lead in points with 13 (tied with Loui Eriksson), and as mentioned before, was tied for first in power play goals, assists and points (all tied with Ryan Spooner). Bergeron will be depended on even more with the absence of David Krejci and it looks like, as usual, he is conditioned to not let us down.

First Star: Tuukka Rask

Sometimes, it is hard to give a goalie the first star in any case because most of their stats are a reflection, not just of themselves, but of the entire team’s performance. In this case, however, Tuukka Rask did more than enough to earn the top ranking for the player of December.

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  • Out of the six games he won this month, five of them were in a row. Within that personal five game winning streak, Rask was also able to post two shutouts, showing that he wasn’t just winning games because of his teammates scoring goals. This month also had many close games where a big save from Rask would have been the difference between a win and a loss. Even in the games that Rask lost, he still played well enough to keep the Bruins in these games. Let’s hope that his excellent play continues into 2016, starting with the Winter Classic.

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    The honourable mention for this month has to go to Loui Eriksson who lost to Ryan Spooner by just a hair. If you read through the article again, you will Eriksson’s name all over the place, but, as said before, only three can receive star recognition for each month.

    Choosing these three stars every month is not getting any easier, and that is always a good thing. For some teams, choosing these stars for every month would be easy. The fact that it isn’t for the Bruins means that we have a deeply talented squad that rely on each other instead of trying to do everything themselves. This is what has made the Boston Bruins successful in the past and it is what will continue to make the Boston Bruins successful in the future.

    To make your selections for this month’s three stars, post in the comment section below. For more access to all things Boston Bruins, follow 29Bruins on Twitter.