Leandre: Re-Aligning the Bruins


The Boston Bruins have come roaring out of the gate, earning 20 of a possible 24 points through the team’s first 12 games.

However, that’s been thanks in large part to a dominant top line, who have registered 57 of the team’s 110 points as well as 24 of the team’s 41 goals scored.

While it hasn’t hurt them so far this season, we certainly have seen this movie before. In fact, you need only go back to last season to see the latest example of the Bruins being carried by the ‘Perfection Line.’ While it carried the Bruins to a second-place finish in the Atlantic Division and they were able to get just enough from the secondary guys to walk into the Stanley Cup Final, it cost them in the end when it mattered the most.


But the bottom-nine of the Bruins has been coming alive of late, as the likes of Charlie Coyle, Brandon Carlo, and Anders Bjork have broken onto the score-sheet. However, it might just be a random spurt of success against some favorable matchups. The Bruins, regardless of their success early, still need to re-align their forward unit to bring the best out of each other moving forward.

Here are the forward lines from Tuesday’s 5-1 win against the San Jose Sharks:




Yes, they got goals from Krejci, Coyle, and Carlo in this game, but the fact of the matter is that success has yet to be on display consistently.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a couple changes the Bruins can make to perhaps bolster their scoring.


1. Charlie Coyle promoted from third-line center to second-line right wing

While the Bruins adore the pride of Weymouth as a center, the man simply plays better when he has a playmaker to dish him the puck. Last year the Bruins were able to get away with Coyle as a center because he had a gifted playmaker in Marcus Johansson on his wing.

This year, he has unproven Anders Bjork, Brett Ritchie (has scored more than 14 points once), and a shell of David Backes at times this season. The combined point-totals of those three is five, with Ritchie claiming three of them.

Promoting him to the second line allows him to play with Krejci, who set him up for a goal against San Jose, as well as Jake DeBrusk –– a young man who has certainly been a downer for an otherwise dominant Bruins squad, and could benefit from an extra scoring option being on his opposite wing.

2. Keep Anders Bjork at the NHL Level

Perhaps an obvious solution, but Anders Bjork has looked really good since getting called up to the NHL this season. Yes, he only has netted one goal (also his only point), but Bjork has been able to generate chances, as well as skate into open space and take what’s been given to him.

He hasn’t been perfect, but who is? He’s still young and trying to get his feet wet at the NHL level. But the pros outweigh the cons in this case because he looks far more aggressive than he has in his previous stints with this team.

Here’s what those two moves would ideally do to the starting lines:


As a result, the Bruins put together a dominant top-six who have the best chemistry together. Yes, there’s a need to add depth scoring, but in the meantime, you’re allowing your team to generate offense from more than just the top line.


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