The Boston Bruins’ Second Line Has Been Thriving as of Late
Oct 29, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) and defenseman Torey Krug (47) celebrate with teammates after a goal during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Although the 2019-2020 regular season has only just begun, the Boston Bruins have already proven that they are again one of the leagues best. The defending Eastern Conference champions finished the first month of the season at 9-1-2. By earning points in 12 of their first 13 games, they tied their best start since 1929-1930. They also ended the month on a four-game winning streak in which they outscored their opponents 19- 7. The Bruins were able to extend it to six before they lost to Montreal on Wednesday night.
Through the early going, the Bruins’ top line has been one of the league’s best. The Bruins’ trio of Bergeron, Pastrnak, and Marchand have combined for 74 points and 32 goals. Although the Bruins’ first line has thrived, the second line has done their part of late.
Over the Bruins’ past few games, Cassidy has moved Danton Heinen to the second line alongside Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci. The change has proved beneficial as DeBrusk, Heinen, or Krejci have factored into at least one goal in six of the Bruins’ last seven games. The combination has seemed to jumpstart DeBrusk who, after a slow start, has looked much better over the last two weeks.
So far this season, DeBrusk has three goals and three assists. Two of his goals have come in the last week, and he has three points in his last five games. It is a welcoming sign for the Bruins as the former first-round pick is expected to be an important piece.
Coincidentally as DeBrusk has caught fire, so has his new linemate, Danton Heinen. The former fourth-round pick has six points this season, and two on the power play. In his last five games, he has three points, including two of his three goals this season. Even though Heinen may not appear in the stat sheet every night, he has been productive on the ice.
A great shift from Danton Heinen leads to the winger getting rewarded with his third goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/v42vVi5KFT
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 3, 2019
As the season progresses, the play of these two wingers will be key. Although DeBrusk has been streaky at times, he is coming off a 27-goal campaign. He has also averaged 40 points a season throughout his young NHL career. While DeBrusk has been able to prove himself as a goal scorer, Heinen has not had the same luck.
Following an impressive rookie season, Heinen struggled last year. After recording 47 points in his first full season, the Canadian native only recorded 34 in 2018-2019. His disappointing season raised questions about his future before the Bruins signed him to an extension in the offseason. The team saw potential in Heinen, who has rewarded their faith.
For the success of these two to continue, consistency will be key. While Heinen has thrived as of late, he tends to hang onto the puck rather than shoot. That may change, however, as his confidence grows alongside DeBrusk and Krejci. For the Bruins, it has been a positive sign as their once dormant second unit has come alive.