In the five games it took for the Bruins to eliminate the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup, the Bruins scored 16 times. Of those 16 goals, 11 came from a combination of three Bruins defensemen and two fourth-liners.
Rookie defensemen Torey Krug led the way in that group with four goals,—three came on the power play—followed by Gregory Campbell with three, Johnny Boychuk with two, then Daniel Paille and Zdeno Chara with one each, not bad for secondary scoring eh?
After a series against the Maple Leafs where the Bruins top line paved the way, it was nice for Claude Julien to get production from other guys, especially his fourth line.
“You know what they did the job that they had to do, but our fourth line scored and that was the difference, I guess” said Julien.
You don’t have to guess Claude; it was the difference in the game for sure as the Bruins sent home the Rangers for the summer as they avoid what would have been an intense Game 6 in New York Monday night.
The Bruins pride themselves on being a deep team, and even though not all of their lines chipped in offensively, it was the difference in the series.
“Yeah, that’s part of it” said Rangers head coach John Tortorella. “They’ve got a deep team, and that is part of it. It can’t be an excuse.”
Dennis Seidenberg–who returned to action in Game 5–knows how important having depth is in a playoff series.
“In every series, there’s got to be a line or a forward or a D [defenseman] that’s got to step up. This series, the fourth line has done an incredible job of providing offense and playing physical just as much as the young D coming up and performing the way they have” said Seidenberg.
“It’s good and it’s nice to have that depth.”
Now that the Rangers series is a thing of the past, the Bruins will now shift their attention to their Eastern Conference Finals series with the conference’s best Pittsburgh Penguins.
Like the Bruins, the Penguins are a deep hockey team and have arguably the best two lines in hockey. The Bruins know that if they are to have any chance against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, they will need their secondary scoring to continue.
“Of course” said Campbell. “We’ve all watched Pittsburgh play, we’ve played against them enough and we have a lot of respect for that team, the way they’re coached, and they have four really good lines and guys that contribute and they got scoring from every line and they’re not too far removed from winning the Stanley Cup and they know how to win, so I think it will be a great matchup. We’re excited about it, and we’re going to have to be good.”
In the three games the Bruins had against the Penguins during the regular season,—all wins by the Penguins—the Bruins got three goals from Tyler Seguin one from Chara and one from Brad Marchand.
Clearly the Bruins will need others to step up in order to advance to their second Stanley Cup Final in three seasons.
Timely goals from their defensemen and fourth line, mixed in with a few key tallies from their other three lines could be just what the Bruins will need to get past the Pittsburgh Penguins and once again compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup.