Just hours removed from a frustrating shutout loss at home to the 13th-place Florida Panthers, the Bruins have reached the point of desperation. With just five games left in the season, it's time to score goals or get the golf clubs ready.
In an effort to achieve the former, head coach Claude Julien has mixed up his lines. As NESN.com's James Murphy reports from practice in Wilmington, Mass., the lines are as follows:
Milan Lucic–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Brad Marchand
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin/Trent Whitfield–Michael Ryder/Shawn Thornton
The moves reflect a number of trends that have emerged over the past few weeks. On the plus side, Lucic has been rewarded for his increasingly improving play as he moves up to the first line. Krejci has also been performing well since returning from the Olympic break, scoring six goals and registering 10 assists in 16 games.
Then there's the other side. Sturm has created a number of opportunities in recent games, but he's been unable to find the back of the net for 11 straight contests — a stretch of ice time that is nearing 200 minutes. Putting him alongside Krejci was likely a move made with the hopes of him finally finishing off some of those opportunities.
Both Ryder and Wheeler, meanwhile, have scoreless streaks of nine game, both of which likely influenced Julien's decision.