As the Boston Bruins enter their third game of the opening round playoff series against the Washington Capitals, they find themselves in a peculiar situation. Capital goalie Braden Holtby has stoned the Bruins, stopping 72 out of 74 B’s shots in the first two games, a 1-0 overtime loss and a 2-1 double overtime victory. He has outplayed Tim Thomas, his counterpart across the ice, and has given hope to the now defensive minded Caps. He has been cool, calm and confident in goal and now has the Capitals believing they can upset the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
So what do the Bruins need to do to get to Holtby? Small tweeks of the top lines may help. Coach Claude Julien should try moving Bruins top scorer Tyler Seguin alongside their best playmaking center, David Krejci.
The B’s need to get Krejci more involved. Their only scoring has come from the third line of Benoit Pouliot, Brian Rolston and Chris Kelly. It may be due to the fact that the Caps defense has been all over Krejci, barely giving him any space when he has the puck and when he doesn’t have the puck. Seguin’s speed, along with Lucic’s power, will open up the ice a little bit and possibly give Krejci the room needed to make some plays. And lets face it, Peverley, who is playing in this slot due to the injury to Nathan Horton, is not a top line winger. Peverley should be slotted with Bergeron and Marchand.
Earlier this year, during the regular season, Seguin was moved with Krejci and Lucic and had positive results. At the time, the injury riddle Bruins had been struggling to win games and was on the verge of losing the division lead that they held much of the year. Though the Bruins are healthy now, two goals in the 7+ periods of playoff hockey played so far just won’t cut it.
Look for the Bruins to start the same lines, but if they fail to produce goals by halfway through tonight’s game, Julien may change the lines at that point.