If there was a time for the Bruins third line to give them anything, this is the time. The Black and Gold will begin their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night and Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin must show up to the party.
Head Coach Claude Julien reiterated it will take a team effort to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals not just one or two players.
“We talk about accountability and at this time of year nobody among our 20 guys can afford to be the weak link,” Julien said. “It’s about pride. We need a consistent surge from everyone.”
Kelly, Seguin and Peverley have combined for two goals and a minus-12 during the playoff run, but Julien admitted he liked what he has seen from the third-line as of late.
“I know that line is going to be important for us,” Julien said.
Despite not finding the score sheet much in the playoffs, the third line has found other ways to contribute. Seguin has been snake-bitten as of late, but that is not stopping him from chipping-in in other areas such as the power-play. Kelly has been superb in the face-off circle and penalty-kill while Peverley has used his speed to gain the neutral-zone and create puck possession for the B’s.
Julien talked about getting contributions from the Peverley-Kelly-Seguin line and hopes they can get going in the third round.
It is remarkable to see the Black and Gold four wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals while getting almost zero production from their third line. It speaks volumes of their depth and the importance of rolling out four lines every night.
Julien talked about if playing on a line with Kelly and Peverley changes the way Seguin has played as of late while making comparisons to Michael Ryder from their 2011 Cup run.
“I don’t know,” Julien said. “I think Richard (Peverley) can, offensively, have better numbers, there’s no doubt there. And so can Kells (Chris Kelly). They’ve shown that in the past. Basically, when you look back at a couple of years ago, it was those two with (Michael) Ryder as an offensive guy. Tyler’s (Seguin) very capable of producing like Ryder did. It’s just a matter of getting that magic together and doing the stuff that they need to do to be better.
“Like I said, I thought the last couple of games they started showing some things. They didn’t necessarily show up on the scoreboard, but I thought even Game 5 they spend a lot of time in the offensive zone, making some plays, making things happen. I’m encouraged by the direction that line has taken. If it means that they become extremely good in the third round then that will certainly be a big boost for us.”
The Bruins third line must capitalize and be the difference in one game for the Black and Gold. That could be the difference in this series.