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Where does Taylor Hall fit for the Bruins?

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On the left, sure - but whose left?

Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s not officially official yet, but with multiple big-name insiders reporting the deal, we’re going to go ahead and assume that the Boston Bruins are adding Taylor Hall prior to the trade deadline.

With Hall in the mix, the big question that remains is where does the first overall pick from the 2010 Draft fit in this Bruins’ lineup?

Hall, a left-shot, has spent the majority of his hockey career playing left wing, and that’s likely where he’ll play for the Bruins.

Assume, for the sake of argument (and common sense) that Bruce Cassidy ends up reuniting his first line for Tuesday’s game against the Sabres.

That would give the Bruins a first three lines of:

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall/Nick Ritchie/Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Someone

Same Three Guys As Above - Charlie Coyle - Karson Kuhlman

As you can see, there’s plenty of “Some Guy” up there, but the big question boils down to something pretty simple: do you put Hall at 2LW or 3LW?

It’s fairly safe to assume that Marchand owns the 1LW spot barring something ridiculous. It’s also fair to assume that the Bruins didn’t acquire Hall to have him play on his off wing.

If we accept those things to be true, that means Hall slots in on the left of either David Krejci or Charlie Coyle, each of whom would likely be thrilled to have a player of Hall’s caliber added to his line.

Taylor Hall with Krejci and Smith

It goes without saying that if the Bruins were to add Hall to Krejci’s line, it’d be addressing a glaring “please give Krejci a talented winger” need.

If Hall ends up on the second line, one of Jake DeBrusk or Nick Ritchie ends up being the big loser, bumped further down the roster.

Cassidy would likely end up choosing between putting either Craig Smith at 2RW, or asking DeBrusk or Ritchie to play on his off wing. Given that RW is Smith’s natural position, that makes the most sense.

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak

Hall - Krejci - Smith

Ritchie - Coyle - DeBrusk

Fourth Line Potpourri

Taylor Hall with Krejci and Pastrnak

This would make sense would be if Cassidy remains committed to breaking up his top line.

If, for example, he sticks with Marchand - Bergeron - Smith, it might be an incentive to slide Hall further down the lineup.

The reason this could be intriguing would be because it would allow Cassidy to potentially give Krejci wings of Hall and Pastrnak, which would be an embarrassment of riches for a playmaker of Krejci’s caliber.

This, in turn, would bump the “heavier” guys of DeBrusk and Ritchie further down the lineup, creating a potentially interesting line of those two with Charlie Coyle.

In that case, we might see:

Marchand - Bergeron - Smith

Hall - Krejci - Pastrnak

Ritchie - Coyle - DeBrusk

Fourth Line Potpourri

Taylor Hall on the Bruins’ third line

This feels kind of unlikely given the issues the Bruins have had with second-line scoring, but they could elect to push Hall down to the third line.

In that case, they’d go with Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak/Smith, then a line of Ritchie - Krejci - Pastrnak/Smith.

The third line would then likely consist of Hall - Coyle - DeBrusk, which could be an interesting trio.

Obviously in this case, you could put 1RW, 2RW, and 3RW in a blender and mix/match as needed.

While pushing Hall this far down might spread the wealth a little bit, it seems to be a bit of a waste of Hall’s talents.

So...where do you put Taylor Hall?

If Hall is available to play on Tuesday night, his spot in the lineup likely depends on how Cassidy is feeling that day.

While I’m loathe to break up the first line just because, the idea of Hall - Krejci - Pastrnak as a second line is intriguing.

Marchand and Bergeron will be fine with whoever ends up on their right wing, and a shoot-first player like Smith could be a good long-term fit.

However, I could also see an argument for putting your most elite line back together (Marchand - Bergeron - Smith as Line 1) and rolling with Hall on line two or three.

In all likelihood, Cassidy will mix up the lines as needed; he’s never been shy about changing things up.

The addition of Hall and Lazar gives the Bruins a wealth of fourth-line options as well, giving Cassidy even more to think about.

I think I’d go with:

Marchand - Bergeron - Smith

Hall - Krejci - Pastrnak

Ritchie - Coyle - DeBrusk

Assortment of People


Your thoughts? Hall on the second line? Third? Get totally wild and put him on the right? Discuss.