Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bruins Sputtering, Julien Shuffles Lines

The Boston Bruins have hit a rough patch.  After scoring just six goals in their last four games, head coach Claude Julien is working on fixing the offense and helping the B's find their rhythm again by changing up all of the forward lines.

When asked why he shook things up, Julien replied, "Because I can. Because I'm the coach. And every once in a while, you've got to do those things. Simple as that."

So it doesn't sound as though everything's coming up roses in Boston.  The Bruins have not given up more than three goals in their last 11 games, and they have scored more than three just twice.  Their defense and their goaltending tandem of Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin have been getting the job done so far, so what can these new lines do to help?

The first line will now be made up of Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Nathan Horton, the second will be Daniel Paille, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin and the third, Milan Lucic, Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron.  The "Merlot" line will now have either Jay Pandolfo or Lane Macdermid (depending on who is scratched) along with the usual suspects Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton.

"Yeah, we go through this every year," Julien said of the recent struggles. "It does weigh on guys eventually."

As for the line changes, Julien was just hoping to change the mood of the team after a frustrating loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night.  "We just thought we'd start off with a bit of a fun thing, loosen up the guys, put some smiles on their faces, then get a good practice out of it."

In the final stretch of March, the Bruins will face the Leafs and Montreal Canadiens at home, then the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres on the road.  Time will tell if these lines will make a difference or if the Bruins will stick with them in crunch time.

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