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Asking the experts: What do the lines project to look like before camp?

Who's on first, what's on second, and I don't know is on the third line.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

With so much debate as to what the lines would look like, I asked 15 Cup of Chowder folks as well as 11 writers who they thought the Bruins lines would be, including depth players.

I looked at what line each player was put on, and then the line mates they were put with for each of the 25 rosters to come up with final crowdsourced lines. Some pairs jumped out at me, with Bergeron and Marchand on the same line on 25 of the 26 ballots, as  well as Krejci and Beleskey paired on 20 of the 26 ballots.

Without further ado, let's look at them and see if they could work!


Line 1:

Marchand - Bergeron - Hayes

Hayes was put here because he was the odd man out, with Connolly, Pastrnak, and Eriksson having more lineups with them playing with Krejci and Spooner. The right wing position will likely be the position that Julien changes up when the goals dry up, with the left wingers and centers mostly locked down.

Line 2:

Beleskey - Krejci - Connolly

Time to see if Matt Beleskey can at least partially replace the left wing spot that the Lucic trade vacates. Krejci has helped players not known for their goal scoring surprise people, so this duo should be interesting. Brett Connolly gets the nod at right wing with Krejci, and should fit in well being the primary shooter on that line. Connolly also excels at both exiting and entering the zone with possession of the puck, something that the Krejci line has sorely lacked for a while. No longer will it be either a Krejci carry in or a dump in by a winger, but a more even distribution.

Line 3:

Eriksson - Spooner - Pastrnak

Likely getting sheltered offensive zone starts, the question with this line is if Eriksson will be able to keep up with Spooner and Pastrnak's uptempo play. Playing Eriksson on the third line helps shelter Spooner and Pastrnak further, and gives them a solid defensive presence, which can sometimes be lacking in Spooners game, and is still being developed in Pastrnak's game.

Line 4:

Rinaldo - Kelly - Talbot

Chris Kelly was a lock for the 4c, but the wing spots were both up for grabs. These lineups went for a more physical, defensive style, eschewing younger, more offensively gifted players like Khokhlachev, Griffith, and Ferlin. Kelly will likely be very solid as the fourth line center, and hopefully Rinaldo can make more plays like this than ones that have come to define him as a player in Philadelphia.

Extra Forwards:

Griffith - Ferlin

One of these two will play once Rinaldo is suspended, but I'm not a huge fan of both of these guys sitting for vast stretches of time. They're still young, and are at that point where they should get a shot in the NHL or top line minutes in the AHL. Sitting on the bench doesn't help them develop. Joonas Kemppainen and Alex Khokhlachev finished just outside the top 14, and positionally would be the choices if a center was hurt and the Bruins didn't want to move Talbot or Rinaldo to center.


Top Pairing:

Chara - Trotman

One of the few pairings that played well at the end of last year, Trotman hopes to continue the forward progress he had from last year and Chara wants to rebound from a year which wasn't up to his usual Norris nominee standards partially due to injuries. If you want to read more about what this pairing could be, @Asmae_t wrote a great piece on Trotman that talks a lot about both of them.

Top Four:

Krug - Seidenberg

Better than the terrible SeidenQuaid pairing, hopefully the reduced minutes and the long offseason to get back into shape and recover fully from the knee injury will do him well. Krug was also a bit over his head last year, and is likely a fringe second pairing defenseman as long as his partner can carry his own weight, which Dennis Seidenberg hasn't been able to do of late.

Bottom Pairing:

Irwin - McQuaid

Adam McQuaid is good at suppressing shots, and Matt Irwin is good at generating shots. Theoretically, when they play together they should make a balanced pairing that should be serviceable at worst in sheltered third pairing minutes.

Depth Defenseman:

Kevan Miller

Miller is insurance for when Adam McQuaid inevitably gets injured. Nothing special, but he is very physical. Colin Miller and Joe Morrow got some votes, but it makes more sense for them to get as many minutes as possible in Providence instead of watching games from the press boxes. Julien's thoughts on keeping 8 defenseman is interesting, and would likely result in Irwin being the odd one out.

Starting Goalie:

Tuukka Rask

Tuukka Rask is a very good goaltender. Hopefully he won't have to play 70 games again, which probably took more of a mental toll on him than he said. He, Chara, and Spooner were the only players to not have their line ranking changed by anyone.

Backup Goalie:

Jeremy Smith

Already signed, and coming off of two solid years in the AHL, why not let Smith be the bridge until one of Subban or McIntyre make the NHL? He's cheap ($600k salary at the NHL level) and represents no more of a gamble than Jonas Gustavsson, who has been sub par for all of his NHL career, as well as being injury prone. His contract also allows the Bruins to use him as a warm body on the bench, and call up either McIntyre or Subban when they want to spell Rask, getting both of them as many games as possible.

For a full breakdown of votes, please review the spreadsheet.