Boston Bruins: Rough Night For Loui Eriksson and the top line.


Sep 30, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing

Loui Eriksson

(21) passes the puck past New York Islanders center

John Tavares

(91) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, fans of the Boston Bruins watched their projected top line in action for the first time.  Milan Lucic was finally able to return to the game after having wrist surgery in the off season. Loui Eriksson was getting faster, and David Krejci had been returing to his mid-season form. The fans were expecting a solid performance, but it’s safe to say the results were underwhelming.

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  • The top line combo of Lucic-Krejci-Eriksson were only able to put up five shots and didn’t earn any points as a line against the Islanders. (Eriksson did get an assist on Brad Marchand’s goal.) They finished with a collective -1 in the Islanders 5-3 win over the Black and Gold.

    “I don’t think that line as a whole had a good game, either of them. When I say great game, they were just OK. I don’t think they were a dominant line tonight. Probably hard to assess as far as will that line work or not. Definitely we need to see them play a little bit better. Hopefully as camp progresses, that’s going to happen.” -Bruins coach Claude Julien

    To be fair, I think Claude Julien (and the fans) were expecting too much here. Lucic hasn’t played a game since the surgery. Eriksson (he has had previous top line experience with Dallas) has to get used to being on this line in Boston.  Krejci is still a good player, but he’s had a few rough patches in the preseason (he was 31% in the faceoff circle against New York).

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    Some of the miscues were due to their lack of working together.  There aren’t many examples of Eriksson skating with Lucic and Krejci to be found during last season. It certainly didn’t help that Eriksson had a concussion filled year that took him out of the roster for a good portion of the season.  It’s going to take some time for them to read each other well enough to know where they’re going to be.  Even with practices, they probably won’t have it fully together until the end of October. The players know that getting that rhythm is a top priority.

    “Hopefully we can get something together quickly. ” said Eriksson postgame. “It’s kind of a tough game too with penalties, especially in the second there it was tough to get a good feeling out of it. Definitely, we need some more games here maybe and get the connection going. Just work hard. We have a little bit of time to improve and get better and definitely we can work on some more stuff the next game.”

    The Black and Gold will have two more preseason games and one more crack at the New York Islanders before opening night on October 8th.