Derek Morris – A-: Morris has been a pleasant surprised on the blue line. He gets tipable pucks on net and plays a solid two-way game. Morris has already tied his point production from last season and is on pace to have the second most points he’s ever had in a single season.
Mark Stuart – B+: Stuart plays a solid defensive game as the third pairing for the Bruins. Mostly playing with either Matt Hunwick or Johnny Boychuk, Stuart adds stability to the bottom pairing.
Johnny Boychuk – B+: Boychuk has been everything the Bruins want in their defensemen. He is big, has a great shot, pinches in the right situations, and pretty solid defensively. When Boychuk gets in trouble it’s usually when he is handling the puck in the defensive zone. Overall another pleasant surprise back on the blueline.
Zdeno Chara – B: After winning the Norris trophy last season, Chara is clearly not the same player. He has lost some of his intensity and plays much more passive this season. In recent play Chara has become more engaged in the offense, but prior to that period of time he was rarely pinching. Chara continues to be a force on the penalty kill but more overall is expected from the Bruins captain.
Andrew Ference – C+: Ference has had a solid season as a lower pairing defenseman but once again he suffers an injury. His durability will always be a question mark and the reason the Bruins do not resign him at the conclusion of the season.
Matt Hunwick – C: Turnovers and player confidence are always the issues with Matt Hunwick. Despite leading the Bruins defensemen in goals this season, his play is inconsistent and has dropped off from last season. When Hunwick is skating and uses his smarts to jump into plays, it makes the Bruins a dangerous team, so hopefully he can start reverting to the Matt Hunwick of last season.
Dennis Wideman – C-: Too many times this season you will see the number 6 trailing a 2 on 1 going against the Bruins. It is mind-boggling to see how much his play has dropped off since the end of last season. It appears he lost his speed and his shot because it can never hit the net.