What is the top Bruins line of the past 30 years? That’s a question that Greg Wyshynski of ESPN attempted to tackle, as well as those of the other 30 teams.
As for the Bruins, this is what he had to say:
Best line: LW Joe Juneau, C Adam Oates, RW Dmitri Kvartalnov
For one season, “The Bonanza Line” rode high in the saddle. This was the best offensive season in Oates’ Hall of Fame career, with 142 points(!) including a league-high 97 assists. Juneau’s 102 points and 32 goals were his career best. Don’t sleep on Kvartalnov, who arrived in Boston as a 26-year-old “rookie” after a decade playing in Russia and posted 30 goals and 72 points in one of only two seasons in the NHL.
Cult classic: LW Daniel Paille, C Gregory Campbell, RW Shawn Thornton
They earned their “Merlot Line” nickname because that was the color of their jerseys in practice, worn by the team’s fourth line. But the trio protested against being called the team’s fourth line. “Our fourth line, as it’s called in Boston, is not a fourth line on most other teams. We play an important role,” said Campbell. Indeed these linemates did, throwing their bodies around and energizing fans and teammates during Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup run.
Best current line: LW Brad Marchand, C Patrice Bergeron, RW David Pastrnak
Known as “The Perfection Line” (to everyone but the Bruins fans who loathe that moniker). Since 2017, these three have played just over 1,600 minutes together at 5-on-5, with the Bruins scoring 61.0% of the goals and getting 57.0% of the shot attempts. Bergeron, one of the best two-way centers in NHL history, is flanked by two wingers who have played to a 30-goal pace for the past four seasons. As dominant as they come, and an argument can be made that this is the best Bruins line of the past 30 years, too.
I can understand the bias of selecting a line that scored all the points before the Dead Puck Era began in earnest but, the current top line is just really excellent and longer lived than the Bonanza Line, which basically existed only for a season. Joé Juneau was traded to Washington for Al Iafrate the following season. Dmitri Kvartalnov played another 39 games in the NHL, all with the Bruins before disappearing into the Russian sunset. That last part is what noted longtime Bruins fan, Phony said to the group chat about that line’s “Hoss”.
Anyway, what are your favorite lines? I know we have some people who have all sorts of Bruins viewing experience, so it should be interesting.