BOSTON -– After shaking up all of his lines in practice on Friday, Bruins coach Claude Julien appears set to see what the new combinations can do in a game.
And it is a huge game for the Bruins, who enter Saturday's Game 5 tied with Washington at two games apiece in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
Julien wouldn't rule out further tinkering during the game, but hopes that the changes he made Friday will give his club the wake-up call it needs after scoring just seven goals in the first four games of the series.
"You never stop thinking," Julien said. "If I was to say I went home and had peace of mind it would be wrong. You have to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios and I am. Shaking lines up is what sometimes gets players' attention. It doesn't mean you stick with it. It doesn't mean you don't stick with it. A lot of the play of individuals and those lines will dictate that."
While changing all the combinations, Julien doesn't appear ready to change any personnel in the lineup. He admitted considering inserting youngster Jordan Caron into the lineup, but remains confident that the 20 players who have dressed for the first four games can get the job done.
"To not consider him would be a mistake," Julien said of Caron. "He's a big body. We know that we need to find ways to go to the front of the net, but at the same time the lineup that we have right now, we know it's capable of doing that. If you were just looking at one player [struggling] it would be easy to make that trade-off, but there's more than one player that we need to have elevate their play. It's more of a team thing than an individual thing at this point."
The Capitals will have some changes as well, with Nicklas Backstrom returning from a one game suspension. He had centered the second line in the first three games, but on Friday, he moved up to the top line between Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich.
Mike Knuble played his first game of the series replacing Backstrom in Game 4 and it appears that he will remain in the lineup with Joel Ward becoming the odd man out. Michal Neuvirth has returned from injury and will dress as the backup for goalie Braden Holtby.
Tim Peel and Steve Kozari will be the referees, with Shane Heyer and Lonnie Cameron working the lines.
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Brian Rolston
Daniel Paille-Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon-Joe Corvo
Scratches: Adam McQuaid (upper body), Nathan Horton (concussion), Tuukka Rask (groin), Mike Mottau, Jordan Caron
Projected Capitals lines
Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Brooks Laich
Marcus Johansson-Keith Aucoin-Alexander Semin
Jason Chimera- Mathieu Perreault-Troy Brouwer
Matt Hendricks-Jay Beagle-Mike Knuble
Karl Alzner-John Carlson
Roman Hamrlik-Mike Green
John Erskine-Dennis Wideman
Scratches: Joel Ward, Jeff Halpern, Jeff Schultz, Dmitry Orlov, Tomas Vokoun (groin)
Powered by WordPress.com VIP