The Boston Bruins are third in the Atlantic Division with a 7-4-2 record and if it wasn’t for their top line, the standings may look a tad different.
Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand nearly have been unstoppable for the Black and Gold this season. The trio has been held pointless just three times through 13 games and already have an 11- and 8-point game on their résumé on the campaign.
While the three have been consistent, the rest of the team has struggled. The B’s first line has scored 22 (!) of the team’s 37 goals, and Boston’s offense typically goes silent if the first line doesn’t produce. They’re clearly an integral part to the team’s success, but what does the team need to do in order to get solid contributions from everyone?
“I think if there was an easy answer, we would try to put it in place,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said, via Boston Sports Journal’s Conor Ryan. “Clearly, you can see if our power play and our top line don’t score, we have a tough time. Our goaltender kept us in the game (against the Nashville Predators).
“I think, first of all, you have to be cleaner with the puck, executing out of your own end. Otherwise, you’re chasing the game, you’re playing defense,” he added. “On offense, you’ve just got to get inside a little more, get some second chances. How do you do those? You either got to get on the net off the rush or low to high a lot of the time.”
Of course, there’s always the idea to split up the top line and put Pastrnak on the second line to play on David Krejci’s wing — a player he’s known to have chemistry with. But should Cassidy risk what’s working for the top three and break up that synergy?
If things don’t start clicking for Boston’s other lines, it just may be what needs to be done.