With David Krejci out for at least a game with what is described as a “body” injury, coach Claude Julien will need to do what I thought he should be doing anyway – mixing his lines up a bit. The even lines (2 and 4) have been productive and doing what they should be doing, but the odd lines (1 and 3) have not been as effective – though I admit I am being tough on the third line, which has been decent.
However, the first line of Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, and Krejci has done little. Horton has just one shot and Lucic looks tired, out of shape, and unmotivated. He lacks the desire, passion, and physicality that has made him a fan favorite in Boston and, honestly, got him his spot on the top line.
Regardless of whether a move was necessary, now that Krejci is out, Julien has to make some changes. Here are a few of his options:
- Move Rich Peverley to the first line to center Lucic and Horton. This was add some speed to the line and puts Horton and Lucic with one of Boston’s best players in the early going. Tyler Seguin would move to Peverley’s spot on the Patrice Bergeron line with Jordan Caron taking Seguin’s spot on the third line.
- Move Seguin, who is a natural center, between Lucic and Horton, and Caron to Seguin’s spot. This adds many of the same attributes to the top line as the previous option, but it leaves Boston’s best line (Bergeron-Peverley-Brad Marchand) untouched.
- Move Bergeron to the first line and either Chris Kelly or Seguin to center the second line. If it’s Kelly, have Seguin center line three. Bergeron’s work ethic and solid play may inspire Horton and Lucic.
- Completely change things up. Maybe try Marchand-Bergeron-Horton, Lucic-Seguin-Peverley, Pouliot-Kelly-Caron, Thornton-Campbell-Paille.
My guess is Julien goes with option 1. I do not think he yet trusts Seguin enough to have him on the top unit, and Peverley has played well. My preference is shaking things up a bit more, but that is not Claude’s style.
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Tags: Benoit Pouliot Boston Bruins Brad Marchand Chris Kelly Claude Julien Daniel Paille David Krejci Gregory Campbell Jordan Caron Milan Lucic Nathan Horton Patrice Bergeron Rich Peverley Shawn Thornton Tyler Seguin