First post on here. Haven't had much to say on the team before this because we've been pretty good lately and I'm a relatively new blogger. Given the latest series loss and possible impending cap hell, I had some recent thoughts about some of the team's flaws that I think may be at least somewhat addressable.
We don't have enough reliable scoring outside of the first line. We don't appear to have enough playable brawn to protect our skill players. We may be able to mitigate some of this through forward lineup changes beyond the first line.
First Line: Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak
Second Line: Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork
Third Line: David Krejci, Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase
The first line is too good to break up. While I'm not entirely sure who our defenseman will be after this, I do think it was the right move to pair our brawniest defenseman pairing with them to help protect them like we have been.
The idea with the second line is to create a line with three players with varying combinations of size, speed, and skill. Coyle is obviously big and strong. DeBrusk and Bjork are each both fast and big enough to bang at 6 foot tall themselves. This is a second line that could hold it's own from a physical standpoint more than our other skilled forward lines have for awhile. I know Bjork is a bit out of position. I think it matters less on a line like this than the ability of each player.
The third line needs to work with the best of what is left. Kase made pretty decent strides as a rookie and should be better next season. I liked seeing his skill fit with Krejci, but it wasn't really second line level to me. Ritchie or whoever is left in that role can be the enforcer that protects those two skill players. And I keep hearing he has a gun for a shot, even though I never see it.
Now I don't know if Ritchie is as good at any of that in practice as I keep hearing. Maybe he is just a placeholder for someone better we could get. What I do know is that he wasn't reaching any sort of skill ceiling with Coyle. Krejci is the perfect center for setting him up if he has any latent ability to be drawn out somehow.
Obviously, things may not look exactly like this with free agency, turnover, and whatnot. And I can't really begin to say what our defenseman situation will be like. What I do know is that the modern Bruins were typically their best when they had a Bergeron/Marchand skill line and a second line with a combination of skill and brawn. I think these lineup tweaks take care of that fairly well while working with what we have. Thoughts?