Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Boston Bruins: Let's Talk Lines.

During their Playoff run to the 2011 Stanley Cut The Boston Bruins basically stuck with the same 4 line combinations. Obviously injuries to Bergeron and Horton forced some changes, then there was some changes on the PP, but for the most part Julien stayed consistent with his 4 lines.

Line 1: Lucic / Krejci / Horton

Line 2: Marchand / Bergeron / Recchi

Line 3: Peverley / Kelly / Ryder

Line 4: Thornton/ Campbell / Paille

After Seguin showed his skill in Bergeron's absence he became a permanent fixture in the lineup for the rest of the Playoffs. Up until Horton's injury this meant that Shawn Thornton was a healthy scratch.

Going into this season The Bruins roster has suffered a few losses. Many would agree that the increased minutes of young talent, Tyler Seguin, should easily makeup for the absence of Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi. Where Recchi was esspecially valuable was his Stanley Cup experience and leadership, but now the team has a whole roster of Stanley Cup Champions. Shawn Thornton can now take over as that veteran looking for his 3rd Ring.

Let's take a look at possible new combinations.

Line 1: Lucic / Krejci / Horton

This line will stay intact. The top trio combined for 177 points in 2011.

Line 2: Marchand / Bergeron / Seguin

The 2nd line will have the biggest adjustment going into their Stanley Cup defense. Marchand and Bergeron will go from playing with a 42 year old, slow, but smart winger in Mark Recchi... to playing alongside a 20 year old, speedy, goal scorer with big play ability. Young Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand may struggle in their 2nd years, but who better to pair them with then 26 year old, 7 year veteran, Patrice Bergeron?

Line 3: Peverley / Kelly / Paille

Peverley and Kelly both arrived at the same time last season and seemed to develop a nice feel for each other. Michael Ryder was the third guy for the most part, with him gone I expect Paille to step up a line. Daniel Paille has had a 20 goal season with Buffalo, he has 50 career goals, now in Boston he's shown the ability to play smart defensive hockey. He'll step up and live up to some of the potential he showed with the Sabres.

Line 4: Thornton / Campbell / Pouliot

Boston's 4th line played 11 minutes in the Game 7 victory over Vancouver, Thornton and Campbell will stay put along with new addition Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot was the 4th overall selection back in the 2005 NHL Draft. Boston is hoping that Benoit can live up to potential and maybe find his game with the Bruins, if that happens he could move up, if not he'll make his way as a crusher on the 4th line.

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