Mailbag: On Seguin at center & other answers

Lucic’s maturity and smarts have always been in ample supply since making the NHL as a teenager, and I think if anyone can apply the lessons of a season like last year and build off them it’s the bulky winger. I don’t think last year’s health issues will be a factor this season. Lucic’s only concern will be sticking to his game – physical forechecking and forming a net-front presence – and blending with a pair of linemates that suit his game. He could wind up anywhere from the first line to the third. He could be on the power play or watching it. This fourth year, the first of his second contract, will be a huge window on what Lucic’s future holds as far as role and potential.

BK wrote: I think one of the more exciting things to look forward to this year is the play of Krejci. I am hoping that this is the year he makes the jump from an above average centerman to an elite player. However, my question to you is will Krejci ever be the player the Bruins dream of if he continues to play with  Ryder and Blake Wheeler? I feel like they hold him back and we saw this when he was centering Miro Satan.

MK: Krejci’s brief stint of success with Satan last spring aside, it was pretty obvious that Boston’s centers were all going to be held back by their lackluster load of underperforming wingers. That’s not to say that Krejci wasn’t partially to blame for his dip in offensive totals. Like Lucic, Krejci had to learn about playing through pain and coming back from injury. And there was also a dose of complacency that set in after Krejci’s breakout season in ’08-09. If Krejci can get back to working hard all the time and playing with determination, he should be able to make his wingers better rather than being held back by his linemates.

Whether Krejci will be back between Ryder and Wheeler this season remains to be seen and will be determined by so many different factors. There are ways that trio could work again. You start with Wheeler picking up his game and adding some semblance of physicality to his play. On the penalty kill, Krejci and Wheeler have always flaunted fantastic chemistry, and there’s no reason to believe they couldn’t find that 5-on-5 again.

As for Ryder, he needs to get back to basics and play with the fire that left him last season. His ability to get open and get off a shot seems like a perfect fit to play alongside a center of exceptional vision like Krejci. No doubt, you’ll see many different permutations of line combinations this fall and the Wheeler-Krejci-Ryder might be given another chance to find its ’08-09 form.

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