The Boston Bruins have a lot of shuffling to do before the season starts in September. Coach Jim Montgomery will have a lot of work to do before the season begins. Unfortunately, he will have to do it twice basically because of the absence of some key players. Today we will be predicting the Boston Bruins lineup.
It is crucial for Montgomery to get the first group to buy into the system he is planning to bring with him. A group that has bought into the system will make it easier for those returning from injury to catch up.
Although there are a few factors that go into what the actual lines will look like, we will do our best to get an accurate list together. Starting with what the roster looks like right now. Here is what we are projecting the lineup to be as it stands right now:
If the Bruins are going to be without their main players I think that the best bet is to play the young guys. This lets the staff see what they have in the prospects and it shows them what they will be working with in the future if they cannot retain their current bottom six talent. You start to develop the kids and then if it looks like they are making good progress then you have some more trade chips on the bench people would love to have on their team. Wagner being the only one from Providence that isn’t a prospect would add some needed experience and grit. If he shows that he can keep the intensity that he showed at the end of last season he could find himself in Boston full-time. Frederic could learn some things from Wagner with them on the same line.
The Defensive pairings are a little tough. There is a heavy dose of left-handed defensemen on the roster in Boston which means that there will be a pairing that has 2 left-handed shots. As long as they can keep the area in front of their goalie clear, they will be fine. The first pair should be the best available defenders at all times and Lindholm and Carlo represent that as the roster currently stands. Forbort is a good gritty defender that is willing to take shots to the body (literally) and Clifton has some spunk to him. They might make a solid pair and as far as we know the Bruins are still trying to win games. Reilly and Zboril would be a good third pair to have because they would have another solid pair getting minutes where not so solid players are on the ice. The 2 left-hand shots are a little bit of a bump in the road but it’s a small price to pay for a little bit to stay somewhat competitive.
If the Bruins were to get Both Bergeron and Krejci their lines would most likely look something like this to start the year:
The Defensive lines will not change in this scenario because the only returning defensemen on the roster are injured so they will be listed in the next section with the best roster when everyone is healthy. Bergeron leads the way up the middle like he usually would if he wasn’t currently un-signed, he’s got DeBrusk and Zacha running up the wings with hime so he’s got some good scroers there and with the pairs listed above that defense would be pretty good to start the year. You’d get the line we should have gotten all along under former coach Bruce Cassidy, Krejci being the center in between Hall and Pastrnak. This could also end up being the top line to start the season if the Bergeron line starts off slow. Foligno and smith would give McLaughlin some needed guidance as he navigates his first full year in the Bruins Organization and a line of Frederic, Koppanen, and Wagner would achieve what coach Montgomery wants in a heavy pressure play style.
Once the Bruins get all of their players back, then we start cooking with gas. If the Bruins get both Bergeron and Krejci and once the prodigal son Charlie MaCavoy returns he will save us… Hopefully. Seriously though this is what the lines should look like if everyone is healthy:
Back at it again with some different pieces to fill in some spots. Keep the first line chemistry going and have another top line worthy group on the second line. If the Bruins can’t find a way to fill the third RW spot then slot Craig Smith in there for his power and his pressure. Unleash the fourth line dogs when you need some a spark. If Bergeron and Krejci decide not to come back to Boston then you have Studnicka on the second line maybe the top line, Zacha can move up to the 2c and then smith can line up at the third center spot and the fourth line gets a new rigth wing when McLaughlin slots on the third line.
You have the Boston University connection on the top defensive pairing. Some solid defensemen down the rest of the way. The front office might want to look at getting a right-handed shot or 2 for the bottom four pairs. Theres a recommendation for someone here. A lot of moving pieces here in Boston but if Montgomery can get it right he might be on to something.
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