Lucic/By S. Bradley

Now that the Bruins have passed the halfway point of their season, it’s time to grade each player before they officially start their second half at home against Ottawa tonight.

Somehow, the Bruins have produced so few four-line, 60-minute efforts this season, you can count them on one hand, yet they still rank a respectable 13th in goals scored per game (2.83).

That’s a tribute to their balance and ability to pick each other up when slumps – and there have been plenty — hit. Boston might be in the market for a scoring winger come trade-deadline day, or they might just continue to rely on their defense to combine with timely scoring in order to get by down the stretch. There’s definitely room for improvement among most of the forward corps no matter which way you look at it.

Here are my midseason grades:

Patrice Bergeron
First quarter grade: B
Midseason grade: A-minus

Everyone wanted to see some offensive flair from the veteran center this season. Well, how about the fact that he now leads the team in scoring with 29 points (10 goals)? He’s winning 54 percent of his faceoffs and is second among Bruins forwards in blocked shots. And, of course, he has been instrumental as a shutdown center when needed. Sure, Bergeron has benefited from the healthy returns of Marc Savard and David Krejci pushing him down the lineup, but Bergeron has also done everything asked of him by the club this season in all situations — although, like most, he must get his power-play numbers up.

Milan Lucic
First quarter grade: A-minus
Midseason grade: B

His current stretch of recording just one point in his last 11 games is Lucic’s first sustained slump of the season. That said, as the first-line left winger for a contending team, Lucic has to provide the Bruins with more offense. He has been hampered by some line juggling and Marc Savard’s struggles, but Lucic could take more advantage of the power-play time he gets and also make some things happen with his own ability to get to the net. Remember, four of his team-high 16 goals are empty-netters. He hasn’t fought since Oct. 23, which would be fine if the rest of his physical play was where it needs to be every night. He leads the team with 104 hits, but that’s just tied for 27th in the entire league.

Nathan Horton
First quarter grade: B-plus
Midseason grade: C-plus

Simply put, if you’re going to go through a stretch of four goals in 23 games, you have to find other ways to contribute. And Horton, more often than not, failed to do that during his lengthy drought. With 12 goals at this point, he could get healthy and still score between 25 and 30 goals, as the Bruins had hoped. But he has been nothing more than a streak-scorer, while the Bruins were wishing he’d take the next step in his ascension to stardom. Instead, they’ve gotten the same player Florida had. With his minutes at full strength on the top line and on the power play, his numbers should be better.

Mark Recchi
First quarter grade: B
Midseason grade: B-plus

Nary a negative word is written about Recchi on this blog, and with good reason. Recchi’s on the Bruins to play a third-line role, battle in front on the power play and provide leadership whenever possible. He has perfectly filled that role, and mostly only struggled when asked to do more. His eight goals, six on the power play and five for game-winners, are about what you’d expect from a player his age logging around 16 minutes a game. He is a plus player, he has killed penalties at times and has even been willing to move back and forth between left and right wing all year long.

Krejci/By S. Bradley

David Krejci
First quarter grade: B-minus
Midseason grade: C

If Krejci needed more time to recover from the concussion that forced him out of the lineup for six games in November, it’s understandable. But by now, he should be hitting his stride and instead he is in the midst of a seven-game goal drought. If you expanded his recent results back to his one-game injury absence in Atlanta Nov. 28, Krejci has scored just five goals and scored goals in just three of those games. He also has just eight assists in that same span. While Krejci is still a plus player, he has won less than 50 percent of his draws and hasn’t done enough to help Boston during Marc Savard’s slow improvement. He’s also a major reason why the power play has failed so miserably over the entire season.

Michael Ryder
First quarter grade: B
Midseason grade: B

You might never see the return of Ryder as a 30-goal scorer, which is acceptable considering the team and system he plays for. It’s only acceptable, however, as long as he’s doing other things to help out. And there’s no doubt Ryder has been more engaged on a nightly basis this year than last. While his lack of finish still leads the team in making people wrench their necks back, Ryder has managed to create some decent chances while playing with different centers, and has even thrown his weight around physically for a night here or there. Ryder’s never going to snipe enough to justify his $4 million cap hit, but at least he’s serving as more of a threat this season.

Blake Wheeler
First quarter grade: B
Midseason grade: B-minus

Since showing he could be a responsible defensive center earlier this season, Wheeler has picked up his play on the wing in the defensive zone. But at his size, with the skill set he has and the role Boston casts him in, he has to be able to produce more than just nine goals in 41 games. He’s still one of Boston’s best penalty-killers, and he’s picked up his physical play a tad. Nonetheless, there are still too many no-show nights at the offensive end on a team that needs everyone to chip in more regularly.

Marchand/By S. Bradley

Brad Marchand
First quarter grade: A-minus
Midseason grade: A

As his rookie year has unfolded, Marchand has managed to move peskiness down the list of key ingredients he brings to the Bruins. Whether cast on Boston’s “Merlot Line” or higher up on the depth chart, Marchand has limited his mistakes and scored at some opportune times. He can still get under opponents’ skin, but his six PIM in the last 14 games is surely exceeded by those penalty minutes he has drawn from the other team in that stretch.

Tyler Seguin
First quarter grade: B
Midseason grade: B-minus

There’s no doubt there has been improvement in the Bruins’ rookie, but he still makes the mistakes that should be easiest to get rid of — like making backhand drop passes at the attacking blue line and thinking offense before Boston definitely has possession of the puck in its own end. Considering he was kept around to be a complementary part, Seguin hasn’t hurt the team much with his errors and his lack of finish. However, the Bruins will need more from him in the second half.

Gregory Campbell
First quarter grade: A-minus
Midseason grade: A-minus

When it comes to steadiness, fewer Bruins personify that attribute better than Campbell. The center could stand to get his faceoff percentage better than its current 48.4 percent, but other than that he has been everything a team could ask out of a fourth-line center and more. Campbell has continued to show skill on the penalty kill, which has been near the top of the league all season, and he has made the “Merlot Line” more than just a trio of grinders.

Shawn Thornton
First quarter grade: A
Midseason grade: A

You can’t knock anything Thornton has done this season, from his career-high seven goals to his eight fights, including his game-opening bout with Atlanta’s Eric Boutlon that launched one of Boston’s most dramatic victories of the season. Thornton continues to sit among the league’s top 10 or 15 players in shots-on-net per 60 minutes, and a few more have found the back of the net this season than in year’s past — which has saved the Bruins on a number of occasions.

Marc Savard
First quarter grade: None
Midseason grade: C-minus

The benefit of the doubt goes to Savard because he was out of game action for six months and didn’t have the benefit of a training camp. But at this point, he has been back more than a month and should either be playing more like his old self or toning down his game to better fit his current skill set and physical condition. Instead, he has tried to make plays he just can’t make right now. A couple of his blatant mistakes over the last six weeks have led directly to goals and his rusty play has obviously caused his wingers Lucic, Horton and Ryder to lose their game. The second half of this season could be a career-defining stretch for the center.

Daniel Paille
First quarter grade: C
Midseason grade: C-plus

For a couple games there, we actually saw the Paille of last season on the penalty kill and at full strength. And we even saw a physical side that rarely comes out of the speedy winger. However, going in and out of the lineup on a weekly basis doesn’t seem to sit well with the veteran, who struggles every time he comes back after a game or two out. Paille has to do better to be ready to go and contribute regardless of how often he plays in the second half.