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.

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