Nordstrom Proved To Be A Productive Piece in Year One
Over the years, the Boston Bruins fourth line has been a key piece.
Although they have seen faces come and go, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari have been constants. Unfortunately, their run came to an end as Acciari signed with the Panthers at the start of free agency. Although Acciari will be missed the Bruins have multiple players to fill his spot. Whoever takes his place will be replacing an important player as the fourth line has at times been Bruce Cassidy’s best group.
Although the Bruins have many prospects capable of filling Acciari’s spot Joakim Nordstrom has the inside track. Last year Nordtsrom saw time in various roles throughout the regular season. In the postseason he appeared mostly on the fourth line and excelled. In twenty-three games the former third-round pick had three goals and five assists. In ten career playoff games prior he had failed to record a single point.
After struggling to make an impact during the regular season, Nordstrom proved his value in the playoffs. He also reminded fans of Gregory Campbell in game Two of the Stanley Cup finals when he blocked three shots in one sequence. It was a reminder of the sacrifice Nordstrom was willing to make as his 57 blocked shots in the regular season was the second most Bruins forwards.
Nordstrom, is not an offensive force however last season, was one of his best. The Stockholm Native had seven goals and twelve points. It was his best season offensively since 2015-2016 with Carolina. On the fourth line that is the offense, he would be expected to produce.
Additionally Nordstrom performed well in whatever role Bruce Cassidy put him in the playoffs. He also saw a lot of time on the penalty kill where he rewarded his coaches trust. His versatility was a bonus as Cassidy tied to find the best offensive combinations. Even with Nordstrom’s role uncertain for next season his playoff run displayed the difference he can make.
So far this offseason the Bruins have not made any major moves. Their focus has been on resigning key defenseman Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy. The Bruins fourth line, however, will be a key part after an impressive playoff run.
In the postseason Cassidy used them to slow down opponents. It was a move that worked out well as it played to their strengths. Even without Acciari they still have a formidable trio in Wagner, Kuraly, and Nordstrom. Last year that group became one of Cassidy’s most trusted lines as he turned to them whenever the Bruins needed a boost.
Although, the regular season is still far away, this roster will undergo more changes. Regardless of where Nordstrom fits in, he will be a productive piece next season as the Bruins look to return to the Stanley Cup Finals.