Boston Bruins: Claude Julien serves up new lines for the holidays.


Nov 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins head coach

Claude Julien

looks on during the overtime period of the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 overtime win at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins held one more practice before everyone sits down for Thanksgiving turkey. Coach Claude Julien offered up a little holiday surprise by shuffling up the lines at practice. David Pastrnak, who is likely on his ten game run for Boston was moved up to the B’s new top line, centered by Patrice Bergeron. Brad Marchand finishes out what should be a very explosive line for the Black and Gold. It’s nice to see the young Czech forward will be getting more ice time then he did in the Penguins game.

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The B’s had Matt Fraser and Seth Griffith on the left wing on the second line. That line was centered by on-again, off-again center Chris Kelly. Kelly will provide solid stick play and a veteran presence to that line. Reilly Smith finishes out that line. While it’s not the ideal second half of top six forwards, it’s certainly not terrible. So, it’s quite possible one or the other may end up back in Providence or as the thirteenth forward.

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  • When Coach Julien first paired Milan Lucic with Swedish forwards Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, it seemed a temporary line at best. Then they started playing together, and Milan Lucic has been playing his best hockey since David Krejci got injured. Soderberg is an interesting combination of finesse and brute force for Boston, and he’s well complimented by a skill player (Eriksson) and a raging bear in a china shop(Lucic).

    The fourth line pretty much remains the same. The newest incarnation of the Merlot Men has Simon Gagne on the left wing, with Daniel Paille on the other side. Gregory Campbell currently centers that line. I’ve tried to love this line, but it just hasn’t been the same since Shawn Thornton left. At this point, I’m a little surprised they haven’t brought back up Ryan Spooner if the B’s really want an improved finesse line. If they want to go the other route and have a minute soaking energy line, they’ve got to call up Bobby Robins.

    That’s right. Bobby Robins.

    A lot of people have gotten to see Bobby Robins play in Providence,  and he’s much more than a pugilist. He knows how to use his size and strength and he can play a deceptively complex game. Sure, he’d be on the fourth line. He’d soak up minutes better than the Khokhlachev line did in the B’s 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsburgh. Coach Claude Julien claimed to only want to tweak the Merlot Line at the beginning of the season. Robins is a better fit for a tweak than Gagne is. Gagne could move in to Jordan Caron‘s old job as thirteenth forward and provide the B’s with supplementary points when the Bruins need to rest a player.

    Here are the pairings for this morning’s practice.

    Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

    Fraser/Griffith – Kelly- Smith

    Lucic – Soderberg-Eriksson

    Gagne – Campbell – Paille

    Seidenberg- Krug

    Bartkowski – Miller

    Morrow – Hamilton