BOSTON — The game within the game tonight at TD Banknorth Garden hit its pinnacle in the third period. After David Krejci used some slight of hand — and a little luck — to give the Boston Bruins the lead for good, Marc Savard extended the lead with a pretty move of his own just four minutes later.
Watching this Bruins team, it’s always hard to tell which of their top lines is supposed to be the first — and no place was that more evident than in the club’s 6-4 win over Ottawa.
Hockey players and coaches cringe at the thought of numbering lines — insisting that everyone’s equal and an NHL line is an NHL line. But we all know that’s just their team unity talking and their has to be a hierarchy. There has to be a line the coach goes to when he needs a goal, one he goes to in order to protect a lead, one he counts on to change the game with some physical play.
Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien has been lucky enough to sometimes have three lines consistenly scoring. But injuries to Patrice Bergeron, Marco Sturm, and now Milan Lucic, have sort of thinned the Bruins’ herd up front and forced the team into having more traditional checking and scoring lines. Determining which line is the top one — among the Krejci and Savard lines — is where things get sticky. (more…)