There have been two things that have driven most of the members of Bruins Nation crazy these last few years. They’ve been consistant problems for the Bruins. Every year, the organization tries to address them, but we’ve never felt like they were handled properly. Those two problems have been the Bruins third line AND the power play unit. This year however, the Bruins really seem to want to end these issues.
In regards to the Bruins third line, Coach Cluade Julien and staff have a few of the problems already solved. Rich Peverley is now in Dallas. The Ray Bourque experiment won’t be repeating itself, as Bourque has taken a job over in the KHL. Chris Kelly is healthy and has had a problem free summer. The Bruins have half a dozen rookie and developing players competing for two positions on the third line. (There is also the possibility of promoting Daniel Paille to that line as well.) The third line will have a good mix of speed and power, and the troubles with that line could diminish going into the season.
As for the power play, Coach Julien has been tinkering with a novel concept. Claude Julien has decided to keep captain Zdeno Chara on the power play unit, but move him from the blue line to an upfront presence. Zdeno Chara will be using that 6’9″, 255 lb body to screen the goaltender while the Bruins have the man advantage. With so many young(and very fast) blueliners coming up this season, we can have some agility on the blueline and a Slovakian wall in front of the crease.
We’re tinkering with that,” said Claude Julien in an interview with the Boston Globe. “We’re going to have a look at that. We have some guys that we feel can shoot the puck from the back-end. Z [Zdeno Chara] is probably one of our best guys at screening with his big body. We’ve known that for a long time. It was probably what we feel like we didn’t have for the back-end. It’s something we’re experimenting with.”
The Bruins have made an honest attempt to cover their biggest opportunities this season. We’ll get to see them put their plans in action as the Bruins begin their pre-season schedule tomorrow night as they take on the Montreal Canadiens in Canada.