In the last few seasons, the Bruins were propelled to greatness by the strength of its top two lines. Even though the second line has undergone maintenance and the occasional player change, they have always found success. The trios of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Mark Recchi / Tyler Seguin got the Bruins all the way to the Stanley Cup in 2011. The same line, sans the retired Recchi got them to the finals two years later. Even with changes to the line, the second line was able to manufacture success for Boston.
This doesn’t seem to be the case now. While Bruins Nation still loves the second line (currently comprosed of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Loui Eriksson), they just don’t seem to have the fire, energy, and scoring output that line usually generates for the Bruins. The only time the second line was showing glimpses of its former greatness was when Brad Marchand was sent down to the third, and Reilly Smith (another part of the Seguin-Eriksson trade) was moved into his slot. Things started to go well until a certain goon by the name of John Scott obliterated Eriksson, giving him a concussion.
There are things going on that are just damn unusual for Boston. The second line usually finds themselves atop the scoring leading board. Not this year. Patrice Bergeron currently ranks sixth overall. Five goals and three assists from # 37. We’re used to seeing that in a weekend, and it’s been a month plus. Brad Marchand has the lowest plus/minus on the team (-2), and just seems to be snake bit around the goal. Sure, that chip shot goal helped out a bit, but he still seems a little sloppy. Loui Eriksson hasn’t played to the level we were hoping for yet, and the concussion certainly didn’t help matters.
So, what’s going on? The Bruins are certainly not playing to their identity. It’s frustrating for them and certainly maddening for us. They have one of the greatest combination of skill and talent the team has seen in years, and they just can’t make it happen. The healthy scratch should be used by Coach Claude Julien. Maybe he needs to use it against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Give them a chance to clear their head and watch the game from a different perspective. Something needs to get done before more drastic steps are taken.