Could the Boston Bruins be partying like it’s 2011 this June?
Morale certainly is high in Boston after the club acquired Rick Nash in a trade with the New York Rangers. A six-time All-Star, Nash gives the Bruins an immediate scoring boost and raises expectations for a team that enters Monday with the third-best record in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
Nash debuted on Boston’s second line Sunday, playing alongside center David Krejci and winger Jake DeBrusk. And while he was held off the scoreboard in a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, one notable former Bruin believes Nash will fit in very well with Krejci.
“Once they get the chemistry going, (Nash and Krejci) could be as or more dangerous as we were back in our best days,” Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic told Joe McDonald of the Boston Sports Journal.
Lucic speaks from experience: The veteran spent eight seasons as Krejci’s teammate in Boston and benefited greatly from skating on the Czech winger’s line. Lucic tallied a career-high 30 goals and 62 points during the 2010-11 campaign, which ended in a Stanley Cup title, then followed that up with a 61-point season in 2011-12. He hasn’t duplicated those numbers since leaving Boston in 2015.
Of course, chemistry doesn’t develop overnight, and it probably will take time for Krejci and Nash to develop a rapport. But Krejci is a creative offensive player and a highly skilled passer who works best with firepower on his wings, and that’s what he’s getting in Nash, who ranks fourth on the NHL’s active all-time goal scoring list.
Will Krejci and Nash be able to deliver the same results that Krejci and Lucic did in 2011? Time will tell.
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