BOSTON — Patrice Bergeron’s absence and the Bruins’ decision to fill his spot on their second line with Chris Kelly has created a somewhat unusual situation on the club’s second line.
Kelly and wingers Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi are all left-handed shots. Despite the similarity between all the parties involved, the players don’t think it’ll be a problem.
“I don’t think so. When I come down the ice on my forehand, it’s always easier to make plays,” said Marchand after practice today at the TD Garden. “But [Kelly’s] the same way so he’s going to be looking at the same corner with me. He’s a lefty, Rex is a lefty so I think we just have to support each other and we have to know that most of the time we’re going to be coming in on our forehands. If we can read off that, then somebody should be able to pop out in the high slot at the right time.”
The hard-nosed nature of all three players probably makes what side they shoot from less important.
“You look at the pretty players, they seem to know if a guy is a lefty or a righty,” said Kelly. “When you’re working in the corner, you normally just make that play and the guy picks it up on his backhand or forehand. So I don’t see it being much of an issue.”
Head coach Claude Julien’s realigned lines also create an all-righty line with Michael Ryder, Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin. The bench boss, however, isn’t too concerned that will impact his team’s performance.
“I mean they’re all lefties but I don’t think it’s a big, big deal. It’s what we miss in Bergie is probably the faceoff part of it. And not so much the fact that he was a righty playing with two lefties,” said Julien earlier this week. “And we’re going to be fine. I think that’s not the main issue right now. The main issue too is making sure that guys that we’ve moved around are fitting into those spots.”
If these lines click, the Bruins won’t be left behind and everything will be right in their world.