Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy acknowledged how Boston’s depth and production from the top three lines is helping the group become “dangerous,” and the most recent instigator in that has been Erik Haula.
Haula, centering the second line with a pair of stars in David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall, now has seven points (goal, six assists) in the last three games after Boston’s 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. He’s helped Pastrnak (four goals in last two games) and Hall (goal, three assists) blossom during that short stretch, as well.
“Yeah, it’s been a really good partnership,” Hall said in a team-provided video Saturday after the second line combine for seven (!) points against the Isles. “For our line, we get into trouble when we’re circling around, when we’re not stopping on pucks. We have such good speed all three of us that we can be really good forecheckers and create chances that way and then the other stuff will come off the rush. All those plays, those are plays that we practice a lot.”
Hall believes the fact that Haula has had his role confirmed with the passing of the NHL trade deadline, that it’s benefitted in a big way. Boston was rumored to be in the market for a second-line center option to pivot Hall and Pastrnak, but rolling with Haula certainly has paid off to this point.
“With him, I think, you see the deadline passes and he’s our center man. I feel like that allows him to feel comfortable in his spot, and he’s really taken off the last three games especially,” Hall said of Haula. “But overall, I think he’s been a great influence. As a center man with wingers like (Pastrnak) and I, you’re not babysitting, but you’re taking care of things and you’re the safety valve a lot of times. And I think he’s been great at that.”
Haula, who is in his first year with the organization, has 32 points in 62 games this season. He’ll look to continue his recent output as Boston gets set to host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday at TD Garden.