BOSTON — It didn’t seem to bother David Krejci and Milan Lucic in Game 4 when the Bruins rotated a few different players on their right wing during a 4-0 win.
So it was a bit curious that when asked how his line could be better in tonight’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final than it was in the 1-0 Game 5 loss, Krejci used that right-wing rotation as an excuse.
“Well as a line, me and Looch have basically played every time with a different guy and it’s hard to get the chemistry going,” said the center after his team’s morning skate at TD Garden. “But now we are at home and we have last change advantage so it should be fine tonight.”
Well, the Bruins were at home in Game 4, their first full game without Nathan Horton, and Rich Peverley scored twice in the victory. Michael Ryder got shifts in that spot too. Then in Game 5, with the Bruins desperate for offense, and in a game dominated by special-teams play, head coach Claude Julien used Tyler Seguin in that spot too in addition to Peverley and Ryder.
That’s not likely to change tonight, as Julien explained that his rotation of forward is done by design based on the situation. So the Bruins’ top-line forwards should just get used to it and play like they did in Game 5. Lucic tried to downplay the difficulty of the situation.
“It’s tough because we’re so used to, obviously, Nathan being there on our right side. And then in the same game you have Peverley and Ryder and Seguin on the right side,” said Lucic. “But you don’t want to make excuses. Everyone has to do their part. Whoever we’re out there with, we have to still play the way that we always do and not much is going to change tonight, so we have to find a way either way.”
While top lines are tighter checked in the Cup Final, Lucic and Krejci have proven they can create the necessary space and scoring chances when they assert themselves. So regardless of who their third man is, they have to play tonight as though it’s the most important game of their lives.