Bergeron/By S. Bradley

With 19 games remaining in the regular season, it’s time to grade the Bruins’ players’ performance through three quarters of the 2010-11 season.

A balanced bunch that has to work extra hard to generate the necessary offense that’ll make the league’s best defense – in terms of goals against — count for something, the Bruins’ forwards have suffered their fair share of ups and downs.

That said, Boston’s offense is fifth-best in the league in terms of goals for, and that’s with a power play that’s struggled to stay in the top half of the NHL rankings.

Here are my third-quarter grades for the forwards:

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

There has been no presence in the Bruins’ top 12 that’s been as consistent as Bergeron, who has added offensive upside (he leads the team with 50 points) without diminishing his value as a shutdown center. He wins tons of draws and does so much great work in the corners and behind the net that doesn’t show up on the score sheet.

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

It’s amazing how far Krejci has come since midseason, when he looked like a shell of his former self. He has been so hot the last few weeks, he is now second on the team in scoring and is nearly contributing at a point-per-game pace for the season. Maybe he just needed to shake out the cobwebs for a while after his concussion or had to be inspired by Marc Savard’s loss, but Krejci looks ready to make this year’s stretch run his ultimate coming-out party as a legit No. 1 center.

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

We’re finally seeing the all-around play of a blossoming power forward we thought we were going to see from Lucic this season. He, like his first-line running mates, had a few dry weeks. But he leads the team with 27 goals. Although some claim he’s not as physical, I’d argue he’s picking his spots better and still forechecking effectively. As far as fighting, it’s hard to drop the gloves when most would-be challengers are afraid of you. Now Lucic has to prove he can be a consistent scorer down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Recchi/By S. Bradley

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

There are nights Recchi doesn’t register a shot on goal and games where he doesn’t even record a point. Yet, there he is at fourth on the Bruins’ scoring chart. And even when he’s not scoring, he contributes so well on the forecheck and in the defensive zone that he never seems to hurt the Bruins. Maybe he could take the initiative a little more to get this power play cranking again, but otherwise it’s been another solid all-around season for the future Hall-of-Famer.

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

At this rate, they’re going to have to remake the move “The Fighter” and make it about Horton. It seems his goal-scoring pace only picks up when he’s had a couple scraps. Although he’s still going to fall short of that 30-goal target from the preseason, Horton has picked it up over the last several weeks and could keep a passing grade for the season if he keeps not only finishing with the puck but also finishing his checks.

Michael Ryder
First-quarter grade: B
Midseason grade: B
Third-quarter grade: B

Ryder’s never going to live up to his $4 million price tag, and in fairness to him he didn’t make the decision to pay him that much. More than anything, Ryder has looked more engaged this season and his confidence is back where it was two seasons ago, as evidenced by his patient play with the puck and his 17 goals, which are one shy of last season’s total. For a third-line forward, he’s solid.

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

Marchand’s become a bit more rambunctious lately and taken some foolish penalties. Maybe that’s comes with the cockiness that builds up when you’re scoring goals at a rate no one saw coming and you’re suddenly coming up in Calder talk. Nonetheless, if Marchand can tone down his act and keep scoring now that he’s not going to catch any defensemen by surprise, he’ll continue to be one of Boston’s most valuable forwards down the stretch.

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

To be fair, it’s been a wild ride for Seguin, who’s been a healthy scratch, a winger, a center, a third-liner, a fourth-liner and maybe even a lot of other things. He took the healthy scratches to heart the way you’d hope a 19-year-old would and has looked more like a hockey player the last few weeks by skating with a purpose and even battling in front of the goal. You’d like to see him flash a little more finish with his high-end shot from between the dots.

Campbell/By S. Bradley

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

While you’d still like to see him win more draws, Campbell is everything you could want in a fourth-line center. The points haven’t come as easily lately, but he’s still generating chances, hitting and pounding the heck out of people with the gloves off when challenged or the Bruins need a lift.

Shawn Thornton
First-quarter grade: A
Midseason grade: A
Third-quarter grade: A-minus

There’s been a drop-off in the goal total from Thornton of late (which is to be expected), and he’s been a little quieter in the physicality department as well. Nonetheless, he’s still working as hard as anyone every shift and makes sure that for however long he’s on the ice the Bruins are on the attack and not getting scored on.

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

It’s been a rough year for the veteran forward, who didn’t help his cause with the Rule 48-violating hit on Dallas’ Raymond Sawada that caused a four-game suspension. Paille has fit in decently when asked to skate on the fourth line, but still lacks the finish you’d like to see from someone that can generate the chances he does with his speed.

Savard/By S. Bradley

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

Unfortunately, we never got to see Savard at full strength this season. Just before he was hit by Matt Hunwick and suffered his last concussion, Savard seemed to finally be finding his legs and his hands and clicking with Nathan Horton and Michael Ryder on what could’ve been a great No. 1 line.

Rich Peverley
First-quarter grade: None
Midseason grade: None
Third-quarter grade: Incomplete

So far, it looks like Peverley is the embodiment of the speed on the wing the Bruins lacked since the start of the season. Once he gets more comfortable and utilizes his shot more, he should be a prime contributor down the stretch.

Chris Kelly
First-quarter grade: None
Midseason grade: None
Third-quarter grade: Incomplete

Maybe he’d be better suited on a fourth line, but on Boston’s third line so far Kelly hasn’t hurt the club. He looks like he’ll be taking, and hopefully winning, a number of key draws over the season’s final few weeks and in the playoffs.