Bruce Cassidy isn’t afraid to tinker with his lines if he feels the Boston Bruins aren’t producing to their potential.
Fans have seen it several times during his tenure as head coach, and have seen players move from line to line this year. Jake DeBrusk, David Pastrnak and Craig Smith are among those who have been up and down the lineup. But the additions of Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar hopefully will bring some consistency.
Hall played on the second line with David Krejci and Smith, while DeBrusk played on the third line with Charlie Coyle. The result? Coyle and DeBrusk scoring the shootout goals to lift the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
After the game, head coach Bruce Cassidy was asked about the lines moving forward. Cassidy noted he’d like to keep Hall with Krejci as he looks to “drill down” team chemistry.
“Pasta, (Patrice Bergeron) and (Brad Marchand) have been an elite line in this league for a long time. I’d like to see them kind of recapture that,” he said. “I think it’s been hit or miss this year at times, for whatever reason. Pasta had an injury at the start, had to kind of work his way back in. Had a great start, has cooled off but we’d like to get him going again. And with Smitty, he started with Coyle and (Nick) Ritchie in camp — I said back then that was our best line in training camp, but that went out the window then (Ondrej) Kase got hurt. …
“This is our lineup now, and those guys on the right are probably interchangeable to a certain extent. But, again, we’d like to drill down on chemistry this time of year. I’d like to keep Smith with Krejci and Hall and see where it goes. They were on the ice for basically two goals tonight. … I thought Coyle and DeBrusk were excellent. …”
If Hall and Smith can provide Krejci with stable wingers, the top line finds their consistent groove and the third line continues to show what they did Tuesday, then the Bruins certainly will be a dangerous team down the stretch.