Boston Bruins Forwards Need To Share Responsibilities


The Boston Bruins have continued to struggle on the penalty kill, which is one of the worst among all of the teams in the NHL. A few years ago, almost every player on the Bruins roster excelled in killing penalties. It truly was a part of the team’s culture, identity and pride.

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  • Boston has a different team now, filled with forwards who are more suitable for the power play and even strength. With so many up and coming youngsters, the role of the penalty killer has fallen to the experienced players who have done it for years. Unfortunately, these players are the same players who have all of the other responsibilities.

    Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Loui Eriksson are being used a lot on the special teams this year. Although it has worked well for the most part, it may be more of a concern later on in the season if one of them were to get hurt or even fatigued from the workload. The Boston Bruins have a deep group of forwards that they need to place more trust in. With Frank Vatrano showing how effective he can be, the Bruins have a real opportunity to use their offensive depth to their advantage.

    Oct 31, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Bruins center

    Patrice Bergeron

    (37) congratulates Boston Bruins left wing

    Brad Marchand

    (63) after he scored an open net goal in the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Claude Julien should not have to choose to get rid of a top nine forward when David Pastrnak returns to the lineup. Julien should bench the player that won’t bring as much to the team in comparison to the rest of the players. If Vatrano continues to play the way he has been, I would place David Pastrnak on the third line with Ryan Spooner.

    Now, that would leave Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes or Brett Connolly playing on the fourth line. This is not an issue, it is a message sent by the coach that that player needs to step up their game. We saw in the game against the New York Islanders that Brad Marchand was not playing with Patrice Bergeron. He wanted to get back on that line and played very hard that night.

    If Julien could use this strategy every night on a player that just needs a little motivation, it could go a long way. This move would also give the Bruins a fourth line that they could truly depend on. As for the other members of the fourth line, Joonas Kemppainen and Max Talbot have proven that they can also be dependable on the penalty kill so, that makes Zac Rinaldo and Tyler Randell the healthy scratches.

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    It is an incredibly difficult league this year, filled with hockey teams that have great lines, from top to bottom. Bringing up stars from the AHL and loading bottom six lines up with great players is a luxury that the Boston Bruins need to take advantage of. This year was meant to be an internal competition, and so far it has been. The more the Bruins push each other to improve and take on new responsibilities, the better the team will be as a whole.

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