Over the last few years, Sean Kuraly has been a staple on the Boston Bruins fourth line. This season, however, the Ohio native has not made the same impact. With the playoffs just around the corner, Kuraly has started to turn his game around. As the Bruins have won four of their last five games, he has provided a reminder of his value.
In 44 games this season, Kuraly has recorded nine points. While he only has four goals, two of them have come in his last three games. After going two months without finding the back of the net, he has regained his offensive touch. As the Bruins’ secondary scoring has improved, Kuraly has provided a spark.
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With the addition of Curtis Lazar, Kuraly was bumped out of his fourth-line center spot. While he could have stayed on the wing, coach Bruce Cassidy moved him to a struggling third line. The move has proven beneficial as the fifth-year center has created scoring chances. The former fifth-round pick has been crashing the net and is playing to his strengths.
Kuraly’s impact has also been reflected in his new linemates. In Nick Ritchie’s last three games, he has three points, and Charlie Coyle has looked better. For seemingly the first time all season, the Bruins third line has an identity. They haven’t been afraid of going to the net and have made a difference when on the ice.
As Boston shifts their focus to the postseason, Kuraly’s play will be key. If the Bruins hope to make a deep playoff run, they will need all four of their lines to contribute. While the second line has dominated since the trade deadline, Kuraly’s line has started to factor into the Bruins’ success.
Although Kuraly has endured many rough nights this season, he is peaking at the perfect time. Over the last week, he has injected life into the Bruins bottom-six as he has done throughout his Bruins tenure.
In the postseason Boston will need his energy against some of the league’s best. As long as Kuraly continues to be physical and wear down his opponents, his struggles earlier in the season could become a distant memory.