The Bruins will enter Game 7 Monday night with 17 goals in their first six playoff games against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton have accounted for nine of those. A combined five goals have come from four different defensemen, and Daniel Paille, a fourth-line grinder has a goal.
Do the math and you’ll see that this leaves two goals unaccounted for.
Those two unaccounted for goals have come from Rich Peverley and Patrice Bergeron, yes Bruins fans, the Bruins second and third lines have just two combined goals.
Defensemen Johnny Boychuk, who had just one goal during the 2013 regular season, has the same amount of playoff goals (2) as the Bruins middle two lines do, that is just flat out pathetic.
If the Bruins are to live to see another round of playoff hockey, head coach Claude Julien must juggle his struggling second and third lines.
After the loss in Game 6, Julien was asked about the lack of production from his lines. His answer was simple.
“No comments on my lines’’ said Julien.
The second line of Tyler Seguin, Bergeron, and Brad Marchand has had their chances throughout the series. During a scoreless game last night, Bergeron had a chance to get the Bruins on the board, but the crafty forward couldn’t put the puck into the open net as a sprawling Reimer dove across the goal line to stop Bergeron on his wraparound attempt.
“Yeah, it is. But the bottom line is that it’s got to go in,” said Bergeron. “We’ve got to find a way. Being frustrated right now, it’s not going to help. It’s about being determined and finding ways to put it in. It’s all about [Monday] now.”
The Bruins third line has been nonexistent all season, even with veteran forward Jaromir Jagr who was brought in at the trade deadline to help sure up the third line, a job that Jagr has failed at, miserably.
Jagr missed the Bruins final two games of the regular season with the flu, and stated he was still sick throughout the Bruins first few playoff games. With the exception of his forced turnover-pass to Peverley for the Bruins second goal in Game 3, Jagr has looked lost out there.
In Game 7’s there is little or no margin for error and the Bruins know they need all four lines to show up and play in Game 7.
There’s no doubting that the six forwards that make up the Bruins second and third lines are talented forwards, it’s just a matter of Julien finding the right two combinations.
With Game 7 just hours away, the Bruins are running out of time to find line combinations that work. It should be interesting to see what Julien rolls out for lines in Game 7.