Bruins Notes: Third Line Dominance Becoming Trend For Surging Bruins

Taylor Hall's addition to the third line is paying off big


December 8, 2022

Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche fans may have had a case of déjà vu on Wednesday, with the two squads playing an identical game to that of Saturday.

Much like their last matchup, the Avalanche limped into the game with injuries to captain Gabriel Landeskog, leading goal-scorer Nathan MacKinnon and playoff hero Artturi Lehkonen. In a repeat of Saturday, the Bruins buried their ailing opponent in a rout of the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Things started out slow for Boston until its new-look third line of Charlie Coyle, Taylor Hall and Trent Frederic took over to begin the second period and went on a dominant run to help the Bruins pull away. Their synergy has been evident since being put together, and that’s something that has been noticed by head coach Jim Montgomery.

“(They’ve been) awesome,” Montgomery said, per NESN’s postgame coverage. “But I thought the synergy of all four lines, six (defensemen) — and of course Linus (Ullmark) was great again. But I just liked the way we responded after losing last game… (The win came from) puck protection in the offensive zone, all 12 hanging onto pucks and there was no better example than the Frederic goal.”

NESN 360 in-article asset

The third line is becoming Boston’s most dominant group in the box score, as well. Hall-Coyle-Frederic finished with a 10-2 advantage on shot attempts, a 5-1 advantage on scoring chances, and a 2-0 lead in goals in eight minutes of 5-on-5 play.

Hall spoke about how the unit has been able to gel in such a short amount of time together.

“I feel comfortable here. (Montgomery) throughout camp and throughout preseason — just throughout the start of the year has switched lines up a lot, so it doesn’t really matter what line you’re on,” Hall said, per NESN’s postgame coverage. “I’ve played with (Coyle) a lot, (Frederic) is such a good young player and has a lot of potential and you’re starting to see that. It’s been fun starting to play with those guys, and ultimately just having team success allows me, personally, to not worry as much about my own game. It frees me up.”

Here are more notes from Wednesday’s Bruins-Avalanche game:

— Hall is loving third-line matchups. He notched three points Wednesday, bringing his total to 11 in the last 10 games, with two goals and an assist in the win.

— Linus Ullmark earned his second shutout win of the season, stopping 23 Colorado shots in a flawless effort between the pipes. He is 15-1-0 on the season with a .939 save percentage.

— The Bruins are plus-26 in the third period this season, 11 points better than the second place Dallas Stars.

— The Bruins will continue their road trip Friday night when they take on the Arizona Coyotes. Puck drop from Mullett Arena, on the campus of Arizona State University, is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark -- Save of the Game
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