May 12, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien behind Milan Lucic (17) and David Krejci (46) and Jarome Iginla (12) during the first period in game six of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins: Predictions for Top Line Forwards

The Boston Bruins acknowledge that they didn’t play to their potential, and that’s what cost them the chance to take on the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals. As with every disappointing season, the teams that fall short promise to make minor adjustments, and the Boston Bruins will be doing that in the off season. The trick for Boston is to figure out who needs to go, who needs to stay, and who they can offer as an enticing trade.  We’re going to take a look at the Bruins top line and see what’s going on, and who might need to be move.

The Bruins top line failed to produce in the post season. Talk amongst some of the Bruins diehards were suggested the removal of Milan Lucic. Ok, that’s just nonsense. Yes, he was disappointing in the season, and the last thing his rep needed was the verbal gaffe during the handshake with the Montreal Canadiens. Lucic is a power forward that adds physical intimidation to his skill set, and the ‘Big Bad Bruins’ will keep him next year.

David Krejci centers the B’s top line. His contributions could likely see number #46 in the rafters some day. He plays a solid two way game, and has the ability to create time and space in a way that would make a theoretical physicist jealous. While his postseason was also less than hoped for, it was his skill set which clearly compliments Lucic’s. They’ve been together for the last few seasons, and it would be foolhardy to get rid of him.

Jarome Iginla is the ‘new kid on the block’ in Boston. Some of us were wondering if signing the  Iginla would be a mistake. We put a lot of faith in Jaromir Jagr the year before and that turned out to be a bust for the Bruins. Jagr played his worst year in the NHL wearing the Black and Gold. Iginla silenced those critics by having another outstanding year in Boston.

The Bruins organization will be incurring penalties due to the bonuses offered to Iginla this year.  Will the Bruins want to do it again? Will they offer him a rather low amount of cash up front, but include the possibility for a lot more money if he is able to make the goals the organization sets down for him. I can’t speak for Peter Chiarelli, but the odds are the Bruins and Iginla will come to an accommodation. Iginla wants a Stanley Cup, and as long as the Bruins can play to their full potential, they should be able to bring it home next season.

While we should keep all three players, is it time to move things around on the top line? Local experts say so. The Bruins were shutout by a much faster Canadiens squad, and perhaps a Dan Paille like player could be the difference on that top line. “I think the line needs speed.” said Kevin Paul Dupont, “I would try Eriksson up there in Iginla’s spot. We all know Eriksson didn’t have a good year, but he had two concussions. I think he will be a better player.”

We’ll see what magic Peter Chiarelli conjures up when he takes the team forward to the 2014-15 season.

Tags: Boston Bruins National Hockey League

  • Willy

    The team and who stays or goes is up to Peter but the lines are handled by Claude, obviously they needed to be shifted around in the playoffs but Claude never did it and thats a big problem going forward. A good coach is supposed to motivate his players, find what makes them tick…yet there were too many Playoff games where they didnt give their all. A good coach is supposed to recognize when the lines are in need of change, yet Claude didnt change them. Either Claude has lost his “fire” or I dont know what but he did not handle things well this playoff season. He probably isnt on the hot seat and thats ok but just like trying to solve the mystery of who stays n who goes, they have to solve the mystery of Claude too.

    • bruinfan

      He hardly ever changes his lines except when injuries force him to. So the “fire” you talk about has nothing to do with change for the sake of change. Your type of thinking ruins franchises. The players are to blame not the coach. Half of his lines where not playing well and he should do what make things worse defensively to placate the feeling of the fans. Get with it you are not smarter than them. Blame Iginla, Krejci. Marchant, Rask and even Chara more than Claude, oh and Lucic also. Six key players that played with no fire and you blame the coaches. They where the downfall of this playoff series not Claude. Almost half the roster didn’t play well and somehow it is the coaches fault.