On Monday night, the newly looked Boston Bruins will seek to find some sort of rhythm against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins came up empty against the Maple Leafs on Saturday night when they lost 2-3 for the first time in the last nine meetings between the two teams.
Bruins Coach Claude Julien surprised the team at practice Sunday with different lines, a change that most fans probably saw coming. The Bruins have not been producing enough offense lately and I think everyone agrees it was time to switch the lines up. The lines now read:
First Line: Brad Marchand-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Second Line: Daniel Paille-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Third Line: Milan Lucic-Rich Peverley-Jordan Caron
Merlot Line: Jay Pandolfo-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Hopefully the new lines that Claude Julien has implemented will light a fire underneath this team to step their game up.
Back from suspension for the Leafs is forward Joffrey Lupul. His two-game suspension for his violent hit on Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman is over and he is back with the team. The unsung hero for Toronto this year has been Nazem Kadri. He leads the team in points (34), goals (14) and assists (20). Most people would have thought Phil Kessel or James van Riemsdyk would be leading the team but Kadri has definitely stepped up his game.
With all the trade speculations that have been circulating and now, new changes with the lines, I think it has been a distraction to this team. I don’t know if that is the reason for the Bruins lack of offensive production the past few games but I do know it needs to be fixed. This is a perfect opportunity for the Bruins to prove they can still score goals, even with new line mates. The talent is there. Now they just have to put the puzzle pieces together. They will be put to the test on Monday night, as Toronto showed the last game that they can play with the best teams in the NHL.
The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston.