The Boston Bruins have achieved 100 points for the third season in a row. While missing two top defensemen in the lineup, they appear to have the forwards roster set moving forward towards the playoffs.
In a huge 2-0 victory in Philadelphia over the Flyers, it was the defense, and birthday boy Tuukka Rask, carrying the Bruins over to the triumphant finish line. However, the Bruins´ offense was non-existent for the first two periods in Philadelphia. While Boston finished the game with 29 shots on goal they only had 12 shots on net vs. Carter Hart in the first 40 minutes.
In the third period, the forward lines looked much different, in contrast with the starting lineup. The Bruins´ top line, of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak, looks indisputable. The second line has been the same since newcomers Nick Ritchie, and Ondrej Kase were paired with David Krejci.
Nevertheless, the game has finished in a completely distinct order. After a rather poor start to the game, the Bruins Head coach Bruce Cassidy moved Kase to the top line with Bergeron and Marchand.
Kase looked slightly better on the top line (who wouldn’t?). For a few shifts, even Chris Wagner took the right-wing spot on the top line. On the second line, Krejci ended up playing with Pastrnak and Sean Kuraly. Kuraly originally started the game centering Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk.
By the end of the contest, Coyle centered DeBrusk and Ritchie. Coyle wound up being one of the best players for the Bruins. The 28-year-old versatile forward topped the Bruins forwards in the time on the ice on Tuesday.
While the usual Bruins´ top trio had CF% of only 25 at even-strength, Kase playing with Bergeron and Marchand increased the CF% to 55.56. The Ritchie-Krejci-Kase combination still anticipates finding fitting chemistry. The trio scored the CF% of 33.33 during 4:05 at the even-strength.
Despite a shiny first game for Kase against Dallas, where Ritchie had a two-point night, the second line has been quiet.
As the regular season moves towards the end we should expect more line changes. The defense with Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo has looked above average. The offense with no significant however injuries has still had a hard time finding any foothold.
The Bruins have scored nine goals in their last four games and been getting timely goals and points. Notwithstanding, the offensive explosion is still pending.