BOSTON — The Boston Bruins’ secondary scoring has been on full display since the team returned to action after the holiday break.
Boston has played seven games since its short COVID-19/holiday pause, and over that stretch, won six games — including its last three — and the fourth line has been a key part of that. The fourth line has changed up a little, but mainly has been occupied by Anton Blidh, Tomas Nosek, Curtis Lazar and Trent Federic at different points. Over the last seven games this group has combined to net seven goals and chip in nine assists.
The fourth line came up huge once again Wednesday as the Bruins took down the rival Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden with the group of Lazar, Nosek and Blidh combining for two goals and and three assists in the 5-1 win.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy certainly has noticed the uptick in production. Prior to the squad’s Thursday night tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers he highlighted the group’s growth.
“It’s a little bit of playing to the identity of their strengths and how a fourth line typically will play which is get it behind the (defense), like last night (Anton Blidh) does a good job and gets in on the forecheck,” Cassidy said via team-provided audio. “(Tomas Nosek) finishes a check and (Curtis Lazar) gets a loose puck so now we’re on a power play so that starts to build a little momentum. They feel good about their game. They’re helping the team. For the other goals you’ve got Laser going to the net and one goes in off his foot and one off his pant. They’re just putting themselves in spot where they get to the net.
“There’s stretches where that happens and you don’t get a result, right. The goals come back or the net gets knocked off, puck doesn’t arrive or gets blocked. There’s a lot of different things that happen, but if you continually do that and that’s their mentality then good things happen. I think they’ve been starting to read off each other better on their forechecks. Some of that is a product of the fact they’re all a little new. Nose obviously is new to everybody, Bleeder hasn’t played a ton up here he’s had some injuries and Lazar comes at the deadline. There’s a little bit of that going on. (Trent Frederic) was down there. Sometimes it takes a little while for guys to read off one another and buy in to how everyone plays. I think that’s what happened.”
Boston enters Thursday’s showdown with the fourth line unchanged after the big win. They look to stay hot with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. ET from TD Garden.