Boston Bruins: DeBrusk, Krejci, and Heinen form the best second line

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 02: Boston Bruins left wing Danton Heinan (43) skates by the bench after scoring during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators on November 2, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 02: Boston Bruins left wing Danton Heinan (43) skates by the bench after scoring during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators on November 2, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 02: Boston Bruins left wing Danton Heinan (43) skates by the bench after scoring during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators on November 2, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

What’s the big takeaway from the win against Ottawa? It looks like Boston found its best second line.

The Boston Bruins defeated Ottawa on Saturday night in front of the home crowd. Boston and Ottawa were even after two periods, but the Bruins relied on a three goal outburst in the third period to take the two points.

David Pastrnak again was an unstoppable force all night long. He had one goal and two assists, and he finished as the game’s first star. His two linemates, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, also had goals.

The big takeaway from the win against Ottawa, however, was that the Bruins found their best second line.

Because of injuries and poor play, the Bruins struggled to find consistency from the second line this year. The top line fortunately has carried the team, but Boston needs a more balanced attack.

Bruce Cassidy tried a few different combinations so far, but he finally moved Danton Heinen to the second line against the Senators. Heinen played the right wing with David Krejci down the middle and Jake DeBrusk on the left.

After one game, it’s safe to say that the DeBrusk-Krejci-Heinen trio is Boston’s best option for the second line right now.

Other than Pastrnak, Heinen was the best forward on the ice against Ottawa. In a little over 14 minutes in ice time, Heinen made quite an impact on the game.

His goal early in the third period proved to be the game winner. Heinen worked hard to win the puck in the neutral zone, and then he made a nifty play out front to slide the puck into an empty net. DeBrusk did well to eliminate Ottawa defenseman Thomas Chabot to create space for Heinen.

Heinen also had an assist, three shots on goal, and two takeaways. It’s no surprise that Heinen was the second star of the game.

Heinen’s assist came on DeBrusk’s goal late in the third. After a solid forecheck, Heinen made a nice pass over to DeBrusk, who fired a one-timer past Craig Anderson.

Krejci, too, made a positive impact for the Bruins. He didn’t have any points, but Krejci created a few chances with excellent passing plays. More importantly, he looked really comfortable between DeBrusk and Heinen.

Why does the DeBrusk-Krejci-Heinen line work so well? First off, all three players skate well and can play the game with pace. Krejci and DeBrusk tend to struggle with slower players like Brett Ritchie.

Second, Heinen appears to think the game at an elite level like Krejci. We’ve seen over the years that Krejci can almost innately create space and open up passing lanes.

Heinen sometimes shows the same qualities. As such, it looks like both players are on the same wavelength out there. The same can’t be said for younger players like Karson Kuhlman, who lack the experience to fit well with someone like Krejci.

Third, Krejci and Heinen are both pass-first players who like to create opportunities for their linemates. This style of play fits well with DeBrusk, who’s a pure goal scorer. We saw this in action against Ottawa when DeBrusk scored on a feed from Heinen.

With Krejci and Heinen on his line, look for DeBrusk to get plenty of opportunities in the next few games. Hopefully he can get hot and start to consistently find the back of the net.

It’s only one game, but you can’t help but be encouraged with the play of DeBrusk, Krejci, and Heinen. Together, they make up Boston’s best second line, so Cassidy needs to keep them together for the time being.

Next. Don't miss these games in November. dark

We saw again on Saturday night that the Bruins have the best first line in hockey. Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak carried the team this season. Now, can you imagine if DeBrusk, Krejci, and Heinen start to give Boston consistent production? Look out, NHL.